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.

Eriobotrya japonica is known for its sweet, succulent fruit. 
It is a large evergreen shrub or small tree, with a rounded crown, short trunk and woolly new twigs. The tree can grow up to 10 metres tall, but is often smaller at about 3–4 metres. 
The simple dark green, narrow, leathery leaves are alternate. The leaves have a serrated margin and are up to 25 centimetres long. 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 invasive guava moth