loquat (lōˈkwŏt) [key], small ornamental evergreen tree ( Eriobotrya japonica ) and its fruit. It belongs to the family Rosaceae (rose family) and is probably indigenous to China. It has been grown from antiquity in Japan and N India and is cultivated also in Indochina, the Mediterranean region, and to some extent in the New World subtropics. The yellowish, oval fruits are borne in clusters and taste somewhat like apples or pears but are slightly tart. They are commonly eaten fresh but are used also for making jam, jelly, pie, and sauces. Sometimes the loquat is called Japanese medlar, probably because it somewhat resembles the medlar of Europe and Asia. The loquat is one of the few important fruit trees of the tropics belonging to the rose family. Loquat is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Rosaceae.
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