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Medlar (mespilus germanica)

A sharp-flavoured brown fruit related to the rose family, and a native of South East Europe. The brown fruit resembles a small apple in size, but is wide open at the top, revealing the ends of carpels - giving the impression of a crown.

Medlars grow wild in Britain, the tree reaching a height of about 7 metres/25ft.the fruit isn"t palatable straight from the tree, but needs to be stored until starting to rot - it then becomes soft and buttery, and melts in the mouth.

With the seeds removed, medlars make excellent jelly (not unlike quince), as well as jams.

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