The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a tree from the Rose family, native to south-central China. It is a large evergreen shrub or small tree, grown in private gardens as an ornamental with sweet smelling flowers, and probably for its edible yellow fruit.
The loquat can grow to be a small tree with a rounded crown to 5–10 metres. (I have never seen one so big.). The leaves are alternate, simple, largish (around 10–25 centimetres long), dark green, tough and leathery in texture, with a toothed margin. The leaf undersides are densely velvety-hairy with thick yellow-brown pubescence; the young leaves are also densely hairy above, but these hairs soon rubs off.
The loquat has some medicinal uses in the Chinese pharmacopeia.
More on this when I get the chance to try out the sweet fruits.