Loquats are fruit trees from China; they belong to the same family as cherries and peaches. Rather than their snow-loving cousins, which go dormant in the winter and bloom in the spring, loquats have a very strange habit of flowering in the winter. They are beautiful trees, and prized for their ornamental value and fragrant clusters of white flowers as much as for their sweet, acidic fruits. The evergreen leaves can handle the coldest winters Florida has to offer, under twenty degrees without damage, although the fruits will abort in a hard frost. The fruits are small, between the size of a grape and a golf ball, and yellow to orange, with a hairy skin that must be peeled before they are eaten, and a small cluster of three to nine seeds inside. The taste is very similar to that of a nectarine.
Visit the Gardens to see and learn more about these incredible trees or visit our botany blog for additional details.