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Eriobotrya japonica

Previously known as:

  • Crataegus bibas
  • Mespilus japonica
Phonetic Spelling
er-ee-oh-boh-TRY-ah jah-PON-ih-kah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

A tropical evergreen shrub or tree with alternate, simple leaves that are leathery, veiny, and toothed. The top of the leaf is smooth while the bottom is downy, with short hairs. The plant usually does not fruit in NC due to its cold sensitivity. If the temperature falls below 28 degrees F, blooms or fruit likely will not survive. The tree itself can survive in temps down to about 10 degrees F.

The tree is an accent or screening plant which attracts hummingbirds and bees. This plant is resistant to damage by deer and is moderately salt tolerant. It is native to China and Japan, Its leaf texture has winter interest. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Fire blight can be troublesome on this tree. The bacterium that causes fire blight, Erwinia amylovora, is spread by rain and insects, such as bees, ants, flies, aphids, and beetles.

Quick ID Hints:

  • coarsely serrated, wrinkled leaves 6-9" long
  • 3-6" long panicles form in summer
  • stem, bud, leaves tomentose

Evergreen shrub 15-25' high and wide.

Blooms late fall through winter, coarsely textured, can be used as specimen or as an espalier. 

Prefers moist, well-drained, loamy soil, full sun but will tolerate partial shade. Easy to grow, tolerates alkaline soil, drought, fireblight can be a problem. 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Golden Nugget’
    Has sweet orange fruit.
  • ‘Macbeth’
    Has large fruit with yellow skin and creamy flesh.
  • ‘Variegata’
    Has attractive green/white variegated leaves.
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#evergreen#poisonous#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#fall flowers#wildlife plant#nectar plant#salt tolerant#winter interest#playground#fast growing#cpp#deer resistant#children's garden#yellow fruits#edible fruits#leathery#hairy leaves#pollinator plant#edible garden#edible tree#fantz#dendrology
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Golden Nugget’
    Has sweet orange fruit.
  • ‘Macbeth’
    Has large fruit with yellow skin and creamy flesh.
  • ‘Variegata’
    Has attractive green/white variegated leaves.
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#evergreen#poisonous#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#fall flowers#wildlife plant#nectar plant#salt tolerant#winter interest#playground#fast growing#cpp#deer resistant#children's garden#yellow fruits#edible fruits#leathery#hairy leaves#pollinator plant#edible garden#edible tree#fantz#dendrology
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Eriobotrya
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Historically used medicinally.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia: China, Japan
    Distribution:
    Tropical or subtropical areas
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract hummingbirds and bees.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wind Break
    Edibility:
    Fruit flesh is edible raw or in jams and jellies.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Poisonous
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Pear-shaped, 1-2 inches fleshy, and yellow-orange. Pome, 1-2" long, pear-shaped or oblong, contains large seed.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are 5-petals small, white to whitish-pink and fragrant. 3-6" terminal panicle, covered with brown pubescence. Formed in summer. Fragrant, whitish, 5-petaled, ½-3/4" across.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Prickly
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Wrinkled, dark green, leathery and toothed. Leaf texture provides winter interest. Simple, alternate, linear, usually 6-9" long, 3-4" wide. Dark green above, tomentose brown beneath. Coarsely serrated, wrinkled, strong parallel veins, short, tomentose petiole.
  • Bark:
    Bark Description:
    Bark has a coarse texture to it.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Grayish with woolly hairs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Salt
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    If large quantities of cracked seed pits are eaten: weakness, vomiting, labored breathing, twitching, stupor, convulsions. A low risk for poison exists if one cracks multiple seeds and eats them. The risk is from the kernel pit inside the seed. Large quantities of cracked seeds would need to be eaten for toxicity to occur.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Cyanogenic glycoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Seeds