The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a small, compact evergreen tree. The foliage is dull green with a downy reverse and tends to grow in bunches on the ends of the branches. The white flowers appear in late autumn and winter. The round to oval shaped fruit is plum sized and golden yellow in colour with a sweet/tart flavour. Selected fruiting varieties (available from specialist fruit tree nurseries) have the best flavoured fruit. Although loquats will grow in most areas of Australia except for Hobart and the mountains, they are not as popular in Australia as they are in Mediterranean countries.
One downside to growing loquats is that they ripen when little other fruit is available, and they are considered to be the main host for early infestations of Queensland fruit fly. It is best not to grow loquats unless you are prepared to carry out the appropriate spray programs and regularly destroy all infested and fallen fruit.