T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Eriobotrya japonica (Loquat)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Eriobotrya
Species: E. japonica
Binomial name: Eriobotrya japonica
Synonyms; Crataegus bibas, Mespilus japonica, Photinia japonica
Common name: Loquat, Japanese medlar, Japanese plum, Chinese plum.

Eriobotrya japonica is a species is an evergreen, broadleaf tree or shrub originally native to south-central China. It has now become naturalised in New Zealand and around the world. It is considered an invasive weed in New Zealand, Southern USA, South Africa, eastern Australia and on many islands throughout the world, for example, Tonga, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, Easter Island, Galapagos, Hawaii and the Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
It is invasive because it produces many highly viable seeds that sprout and grow quickly. The seeds are encased in a yellow, sweet, succulent fruit. They are spread by birds (especially the New Zealand pigeon), humans and in dumped vegetation. It is mainly a problem in northern North Island where it has spread to disturbed forests and shrubland where it will replace native species.

Eriobotrya japonica large evergreen shrub or small tree which can grow > 10 metres tall, but is usually smaller growing >4 metres. It has a rounded crown and a short trunk. Young stems are stout and covered in a white tomentose. The older stems have leaf scars and become grey-brown and calloused.
Eriobotrya japonica has simple dark green, narrow, leathery, alternate leaves that are up to 25 centimetres long. They have small projections on the margins near the leaves apex. They are clustered near the branch tips and have a glossy wrinkled surface. The underneath surface of the leaf is densely velvety-hairy below with thick yellow-brown pubescence. The young leaves are totally brown and hairy.
White or ivory 5-petalled flowers (2 cm in diameter) appear from April to August and the fruits are ripe at any time from October to December. The oval, rounded or pear-shaped fruits grow in clusters and have a smooth or downy, yellow or orange, sometimes red-blushed skin. The seeds are large and brown.

Eriobotrya japonica’s (Loquat) fruit is the preferred host of the invasive guava moth’s caterpillar (Coscinoptycha improbana). Sometimes four caterpillars can be found in each fruit. 
All wild plants should be removed to help stop the spread of this destructive moth. For more details visit: http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/moths/coscinoptycha-improbana-guava-moth.html

The flower buds and the flowers

The top surface of a leaf.

The underside of a leaf. The are several small projections on the margins near the leaves apex.

The much-branched trunk.

The invasive guava moth: For more details visit: http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/moths/coscinoptycha-improbana-guava-moth.html
Guava moths are speckled black and white with a wingspan of approximately 15mm, while larvae are pink and can grow up to 8mm long.plum.

 The larva

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/