Bee Lunch: Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) a desirable winter bloomer!

This small evergreen tree adds an exotic look to our Northwestern gardens with its large glossy leaves.  This plant is a native to south-central China and while it does need slightly warmer weather than our area can provide to produce mature fruit, it will still flourish as an ornamental.  New leaves will be fuzzy red to yellowish in color and slowly mature to a dark green.  Stems of the tree are light brown and also slightly fuzzy and while it looks delicate is actually pretty tough in our climate.  In December it will produce clusters of whitish flowers that give off a sweet scent that can smelled for a distance.  Once established trees will show a degree of drought tolerance, however they have a shallow root system and care should be taken to not disturb the soil under the canopy.