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Messages - Patanax

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See this blog for a lot of infos

The author collects rare edible plants and their wild relatives. He also sells most of the plants he writes about on his Ebay. I have ordered cuttings and seeds from him before and can recommend it, he packages them very well.

So here is the promised update :)

Considering that it will probably take a while before I can find a source for wild Eriobotrya species, I've been going through the previous papers and taking notes to get a better picture and to better know what to keep an eye out for. I've also found three new papers which are relevant for this project.

The first one highlights the close relationship between Eriobotrya and Rhaphiolepis, even suggesting that Eriobotrya should be nested within Rhaphiolepis.

Eriobotrya Belongs to Rhaphiolepis (Maleae, Rosaceae): Evidence From Chloroplast Genome and Nuclear Ribosomal DNA Data

The second paper seems to confirm this close relationship, as it describes artificial hybrids between Rhaphiolepis and Eriobotrya. After all, the "Coppertone" loquat is most likely also a hybrid between R. indica and E. deflexa.

Possibility of intergeneric hybrids between loquat (Eriobotrya japonica lindl.) and other Rosaceae plants:

The third paper is probably the most exciting, as it describes a technique which could enable new combinations when hybridizing different Eriobotrya species. Considering the number of recent Chinese papers that talk about hybridizing wild Eriobotrya species with E. japonica to shift the flowering time to spring, I truly believe that we will see a new generation of spring-flowering loquat cultivars in the coming years.

Cut-style Pollination Can Effectively Overcome Prefertilization Barriers of Distant Hybridization in Loquat

With these papers in mind, I've been looking at the different genera which are closely related to Eriobotrya. The most closely related genera according to several papers are Rhaphiolepis, Heteromeles, Photinia and Stranvaesia. I am currently collecting different promising species and varieties. So far I have:

Eriobotrya deflexa (Small seedling)
Eriobotrya japonica (5x 8yo seedling trees)
Eriobotrya japonica 'Tanaka'
Heteromeles arbutifolia
Photinia niitakayamensis
Photinia prionophylla
Photinia serratifolia 'Crunchy'
Photinia villosa var. maximowicziana
Photinia x dummeri 'Winchester'
Photinia x fraseri 'Faros Red' & 'Chico'
Rhaphiolepis indica 'Spring Time'
Rhaphiolepis umbellata
xRhaphiobotrya 'Coppertone'

So far only R. indica and R. umbellata have flowered. I have saved pollen from both of them and will attempt to pollinate E. japonica flowers if my seedling trees or E. japonica "Tanaka" flower this year. I am also in contact with two people that have Eriobotrya species besides E. japonica/deflexa. I've asked them for seeds/plant material and will hopefully hear from them if their trees flower/fruit this year.

PS: A curiosity I came across ;) (click download)

I may be able to get some seed of E. hookeriana - but not any time soon, probably next year. I'll also keep an eye out for any loquats growing at their Southern limit here.

Hello JSea,
that's great to hear :D
Are you visiting China or the Himalaya region or do you know a botanical garden in your area that has them?
Definitely keep us updated on the progress. If you're able to aquire seeds, I'd love to buy some from you :)

Is there a nursery in Spain which is offering Piera?

Sadly I haven't been able to find a nursery which offers Piera. As the variety is grown in Italy and Spain, I think reaching out to private collectors that are located there and that are growing named varieties would be the best bet.

I will post an update regarding my progress in the next few days.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Best apple varieties for zone 10b?
« on: March 08, 2020, 04:27:22 PM »
You could check out the varieties listed here:

I am still pursuing the project and reaching out to people, but progress is slow.

I will post an update once I have something to report :)

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Tree ID in Kentucky
« on: February 12, 2020, 08:31:00 PM »
Makes me think of mountain laurel

My plant ID app says the same and the pictures match. Kalmia latifolia

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Verry rare walnut
« on: July 03, 2019, 06:11:17 PM »
A similar walnut is planted at the Austropalm nursery in Guntramsdorf, south of Vienna. They don't seem to sell trees though, at least at the moment, and even if they did, their plants are very overpriced.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: How to make potting soil more acidic
« on: July 03, 2019, 05:56:12 PM »
This is one of those unending controversies I guess.

If you google “do pine needles lower pH” you’ll see possibly more links about this being scientifically debunked than you’ll find people swearing it’s true.

Very interesting, I just looked it up. Thanks for the info!

I also found this overview by the RHS about acidifying materials:

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: How to make potting soil more acidic
« on: July 03, 2019, 04:59:52 PM »
Second vote for pine bark/pine needles:

Is there a chance to ask IVIA for it?
Yes, we can contact them and ask them if they could for example send us scions.
(I could even write them in spanish, but I`m pretty sure they also understand english)

Supposedly they only work with firms, we would not be be the first ones to try it...

But we should try it anyway :D
Do you want to write them in Spanish @Magnifera08?

Wow, that`s great! If „Piera” is grown in Spain and Italy, it should be much easier to find it. I will search for spanish nurseries, and try to contact people form Spain and Italy. I think we will find this cultivar soon. (I`ve just noticed that ivia says that „Piera” originated in Spain, whereas the article says it is from Algeria. But I think it is the same cultivar.)

Ok, I have also written a few nurseries in South Tyrol.

The paper states that Piera is a bud mutation of the cultivar 'Algerie'. That's the name of another cultivar, they don't mean the country Algeria. The IVIA website actually has 'Algerie' in their collection as well, but it doesn't have the same flowering properties as 'Piera' so it's not that interesting.

After long searching I found this article:
It talks about the (algerian) Loquat variety called „Piera”, which blooms and ripens fruit throughout the whole year.
This trait could make it possible to grow Loquat in colder zones. I also think that this cultivar could cope with our winters, since it`s a pure E. japonica (not crossed with cold sensitive species like E. bengalensis).
Until now I could not find this cultivar, but if more people search for it, the chance to find it is much higher.

I also came across this paper but was unable to find much other information on the cultivar. Sadly even the paper itself is behind a paywall. But now I found a description of the cultivar on the website of a Spanish loquat germplasm bank. It seems to confirm its everflowering habit:

The cultivar is grown in Italy and Spain, so maybe someone could send us scion wood or potted plants. I will try contacting some nurseries in south tyrol and ask them if they have access to it.

I also asked for scions here:

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Wanted: 'Piera' loquat (Europe)
« on: February 26, 2019, 08:35:55 PM »
I am looking for scions of the 'Piera' cultivar. Does anybody on here grow it? :)

I'm also open to other varieties (e.g. Tanaka, Novak, Puppelo, Victor, Morimoto) or any types that flower late/continuously throughout the winter.

Just in case does someone ever tried to graft on Crataegus and other rootstocks?

The "Breeding loquat" paper lists many different rootstocks for loquat, including Crataegus. Only as "being in evaluation", but that should mean that they are at least somewhat compatible.

Page 5:
"E. deflexa and E. prinoides have been used as rootstock, but they are less widely used than Photinia serrulata Lindl. in China and Cydonia, Malus, Pyrus, and Pyracantha in Mediterranean regions."

Page 11:
"There are reports of other rosaceous species being evaluated as rootstocks for loquat in various countries. These include hawthorn (Crataegus scabrifolia Rehd.), apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.), fire-thorn (Pyracantha fortuneana Roem.), medlar (Mespilus vulgaris Rchb.], pear (Pyrus communis L.), Chinese photinia (Photinia serrulata Lindl.), and quince (Cydonia oblonga Mill.)."

Yes, maybe they would flower later if it would be to cold in march. I haven`t thought about this. But maybe if there would be a warm and sunny period for a few weeks in march, they would think: „Oh, the winter is over, the cold temperatures are gone”, and would start flowering. These flowers would then get completely destroyed, when the warmer weeks would be over, and it would get cold again.

Yes, that could happen. We don't know until somebody tries it... :D

This hybrid is maybe not hardy enough. (Since it`s probably a cross of a subtropical/southern group cultivar with E. bengalensis).

Yes, the loquat cultivars that were used for the cross are "Dawuxing" and "4-1-5". Dawuxing is actually listed as the example for the southern cultivar group, which is less hardy than the northern group, in the "Breeding loquat" paper. I can't find any information on the white-fleshed 4-1-5 cultivar though.

Backcrossing with E. japonica is maybe not such a good idea, because all E. japonica flower in winter. So the cross would probably flower in between the two parents, therefore in February or so. (The flowering time would be developed in the false direction). On the opposite a backcross with E. fragrans or E. elliptica would be a good idea.

I don't know how flowering time is regulated in the genes in loquat and what determines if a cross has the flowering time of either one of the parents or a different time altogether, but I wouldn't assume that all crosses would flower in e.g. February as that is the middle between the parents. If that were true, then creating the Spring Blossoms hybrid would not have worked in the first place.

We only want one trait from E. bengalensis, which is its spring-blooming habit. It's less hardy than E. japonica and I don't know if it produces desireable fruit. A backcross with E. japonica would ensure good edibility, better hardiness, and less unrelated E. bengalensis genes. In the offspring between the hybrid and E. japonica there would surely be winter-blooming plants, but the question is if there are still some that flower in the spring. Those would be superior plants, which are even closer to E. japonica while still keeping the valuable spring-blooming habit.

I would not cross the hybrid with other wild relatives which further decreases edibility and deviates from regular loquat. A complex hybrid with many different species and a majority of wild genes doesn't seem neccessary when a first generation hybrid with E. japonica already has the spring-blooming trait. I'd rather cross a northern E. japonica cultivar with E. fragrans, E. elliptica or E. petiolata if I have access to those.

(By the way, what do you mean with: „It would also be interesting to try a similar cross with one of the cold-hardier spring-blooming species”? Do you mean to cross E. japonica with one of the cold hardy species, or do you mean to cross the Spring Blossoms hybrid (japonica x bengalensis) with one of the cold hardy species?)

I meant a cross between E. japonica and another cold-hardy, spring-blooming relative. So e.g. E. japonica x E. fragrans.

And one last question, do you know how he was able to accomplish that his hybrid flowers in march? (Since E. bengalensis flowers Nov-Feb, and E. japonica normally flowers in late autumn or winter). Did he selected the hybrids for late blooming?

I also found sources that state that E. bengalensis flowers in the winter, but according to the paper, they chose E. bengalensis as a hybrid partner for E. japonica particulary because it flowers in the spring. I don't know why e.g. Flora of China states that they flower in the winter... ???

Identification of interspecific hybrids between loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) and Bengal loquat (E. bengalensis Hook.), Page 1:
"Bengal loquat (E. bengalensis Hook.) blooms in March and April and ripens in July and August in China, is considered a valuable genetic resource for breeding spring-flowering E. japonica cultivars which can avoid cold injury in winter."

Wow, that sounds great! March is still to early (ad least in zone 7a), but it`s a huge step in the right direction. Thank you very much for informing you about the progress of the project.

Well, their growing season is longer. Maybe they would start flowering later in other areas if it's still cold there in March? The question is also how hardy those hybrids are. E. bengalensis is a zone 9 plant from what I can see. Maybe you could cross back to E. Japonica while keeping the spring-blooming habit? It would also be interesting to try a similar cross with one of the cold-hardier spring-blooming species (E. fragrans, E. elliptica, E. petiolata).

So I wrote the corresponding author of the paper "Identification of interspecific hybrids between loquat (E. japonica) and bengal loquat (E. bengalensis)" and asked him about the progress of the project. While he is already working in another area, he sent me a link to a news article.

Google Translate:

Apparently the hybrid trees mentioned in the paper have already flowered and fruited twice and produced tasty loquats. From what I've understood via Google/Bing Translate, they flower in March (the text also mentions April?) and produce fruit in June. Their current temporary cultivar name is "Spring Blossoms" loquat ('春花'枇杷) and the trees are located at the scientific research park of Sichuan Agricultural University. The team is currently trying to graft them on regular loquat cultivars. Can anybody who speaks Chinese confirm (regarding April)?

So I guess there are spring-blooming loquats now :D

How do you get accessions via bgci? Do they send seeds or cuttings? Do you have rootstocks?

You can make a request for certain plants and BGCI sends your request to botanical gardens that have this plant in their collection. If a botanical garden is interested, they can contact you via email. I haven't used the BGCI website before, I only found them via Google.

I have five seedling loquats (E. Japonica) that I could use as rootstock. I could also buy a quince from a local nursery. But if the two listed botanical gardens that have those species are located in Asia, seeds are probably the only way. I don't think shipping scions from e.g. China to Austria would work out.

But I need to get a reply first 😅

E. Japonica is not so much the problem as I can't find a source for any of the other species 😅

I have written requests for E. elliptica and E. fragrans at Let's see if I get any answers ;)

Great news, it appears I am not the only one who had this idea. There is very recent research into producing loquat hybrids to shift the flowering period into spring and create more cold hardy specimen which "could even enlarge the cultivated area of loquats" :D

Identification of interspecific hybrids between loquat (E. japonica) and bengal loquat (E. bengalensis)

As this paper is only from last year, the trees haven't yet grown up and flowered or born fruit. So the results are still unkown. Perhaps we will see new hybrid cultivars from this breeding effort in the coming years. Pretty exciting to be so up-to-date with current research ;D

In combination with the many hybrids that were mentioned in the paper @mikkel linked, development seems pretty promising.

I also found a paper about natural hybridization between E. japonica and E. prinoides. Unfortunately, E. prinoides also flowers in winter, which is why they could hybridize naturally in the first place, but which also makes it less suitable for cultivation in colder climates.

Molecular evidence for natural hybridization between wild loquat (E. japonica) and its relative E. prinoides

Good point @Mangifera08, I had not considered the possibility that it could just be a specimen from the warmer regions and not represent the full hardiness potential of E. Elliptica. After all, they talk about the same thing for E. japonica cultivars in the Breeding Loquats paper on page 10.

The link works fine for me. Maybe try another browser or disable some browser extensions? Here is a screenshot of the page:

Hello, sorry for the late answer, I didn't have time up until now.


Unfortunately, it seems that E. Elliptica is not very hardy. I found a paper about a specimen in the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens in London with lots of information. They mention that it is too frost-tender for a cultivation in Britain, which is an important information considering that the regular loquat, E. japonica, is hardy through most of the UK (according to the Royal Horticultural Society).

E. fragrans flowers in Apr–May and fruits in Aug–Sep.
E. petiolata, which was mentioned earlier, flowers in March-May.


In January I also found a several years old loquat at a community garden in Vienna. Unfortunately, when I came back to take a look at it again in summer, they had cut it down because it got too big for the limitations in the community garden and had never borne fruit...

The winters in the city are definitely milder by a few degrees though.

I've heard of "Coppertone", but there are various sources giving different information. Many nurseries seem to either sell a regular E. japonica cultivar under the name Coppertone or have mixed up their description text and pictures with E. japonica. For Coppertone, you can find everything from "flowers in fall and bears edible fruit in spring" to "flowers in spring but doesn't form fruit at all".

I found this paper, but it is also very vague. It doesn't mention the flowering time but says that Coppertone doesn't form fruit at all. Anybody who can confirm/deny this?

E. deflexa itself isn't very hardy though, so even if Coppertone is a bit hardier because of its other parent (most likely R. indica?), I doubt it would do well in colder climates.

Bronze loquat is the common name for E. deflexa. Coppertone is a hybrid, most likely between E. deflexa and Rhaphiolepis indica.

Well, I made the list using the two sites below, one being a book with some Eriobotrya species and their distribution in China (not neighboring countries) and the other being a USDA zone map of China. I couldn't find any ready-to-use zone information for most species (other than japonica and deflexa), probably because those species aren't being cultivated outside their native range.

If you look at the uppermost left spot for E. fragrans in the book and compare it to the zone map, that area is supposedly zone 5. The rest of its native distribution area is zone 8+ though, so I didn't write the zones inbetween.

Established E. japonica trees are hardy to about 12°F (-11°C), so zone 8a. According to the paper from my first post, E. fragrans is hardier than japonica. Probably not zone 5 though.

Regarding fruit in colder climates, at least E. japonica, the regular loquat, has an unusual flowering habit in that they flower in fall and bear fruit in spring. So in any area that has temperatures below about 27°F (-3°C) in winter, fruit is unlikely. But you can still grow the plants themselves, e.g. as evergreen ornamental. In the best case, there would be a hardier relative of japonica that flowers in spring and bears edible fruits in fall. But I would be happy with anything that is a bit hardier than japonica, so that I could attempt growing it in zone 7 with protection.

The paper mentions quince rootstock on page 11, stating that is is mostly used for its dwarfing effects in commercial fruit production but that it isn't compatible with all varieties and leads to zinc deficiency in the plant. Do you think it would make the trees hardier? Aren't they more resistant to the cold on their own roots?

Also, thanks for the suggestions, I'll have to look up E. hookeriana and E. petiolata :D

So I made a non-scientific list of some Eriobotrya species and their USDA hardiness zones, based on sources I found online. So far it looks like E. fragrans would be the most promising species in terms of hardiness.

Scientific nameUSDA Zones
Eriobotrya bengalensis9/10
Eriobotrya cavaleriei8/9/10
Eriobotrya deflexa9/10/11
Eriobotrya elliptica8/9/10
Eriobotrya fragrans5/8/9/10/11
Eriobotrya henryi9/10
Eriobotrya japonica8/9/10
Eriobotrya malipoensis10
Eriobotrya obovata9
Eriobotrya prinoides8/9/10
Eriobotrya salwinensis9
Eriobotrya seguinii9/10
Eriobotrya serrata9/10
Eriobotrya tengyuehensis9/10

Atlas of Woody Plants in China: Distribution and Climate, Volume 1
China Plant Hardiness Zone Map


I am looking for seeds of temperate climate Eriobotrya species, so relatives of Eriobotrya japonica (Loquat).

I've come across this interesting paper on breeding loquats:

On page 11 and 12 they talk about the possibility of using wild Loquat species as rootstock for commercial Loquat production and mention Eriobotrya fragrans as an even cold-hardier species than japonica, although the native distribution area in Guangdong makes this seem unlikely? Anybody who lives in a colder climate in East Asia and wants to send me some seeds of Loquat relatives? Buy or trade.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Bare root tree purchase
« on: October 25, 2018, 05:58:12 AM »
Buying Pawpaws as bare root trees is not recommended. They don't transplant well, which is why they are normally sold in pots with soil, to protect the roots. It is also recommended to plant Pawpaws in the spring, not in the fall like other fruit trees.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Maypop (Passiflora incarnata) Thread
« on: June 06, 2018, 05:40:26 PM »
Yeah, would like to get some seeds. Add me to the list :)

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