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Wanted: Temperate Eriobotrya species - East Asia

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Nice to hear about the Eriobotrya japonica trees doing well in zone 7(a). Some resources say that they are just hardy until zone 8(a), but I think older plants will be hardy until Zone 7.
The hybrid called Eriobotrya 'Coppertone' is a hybrid between Eriobotrya deflexa and the Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica), so not a true Eriobotrya. Coppertone is said to be cold hardy until Zone 8a, but the advantage is that the bloom is in spring. The fruits are also edible. E.deflexa is a really bad crossing partner if you want a cold hardy hybrid, because it is distributed in warm zones like 9, 10 and 11. https://books.google.at/books?id=rXTGyOlDjdoC&pg=PA515&fbclid=IwAR2gcYSS6BvPlgO1ytIFTjMpiw5bpHaxV-DJD_yWYoyHLE0rgRwb_1eYQlU#v=onepage&q&f=true
Some also say that Coppertone is a hybrid between E.japonica and Rhaphiolepsis indica. (What would be a bit better, because E.japonica is hardier).
Rhaphiolepsis indica itself is hardy until zone 7(a) or 8(a) (statements vary).
All a bit cold hardy, but nothing really hardy. A Coppertone hybrid (with E.japonica in it) could be worth a try. But if we could get our hands on species like Eriobotrya fragrans, elliptica or hookeriana, that would be a real game changer.

There are a lot of the 'coppertone's planted in my area. They're usually called bronze loquat out here. They're also called fruitless loquats I think. I think they have very small fruits, with barely any flesh. I'm not certain, but they're certainly not something I ever thought had potential as an edible.

Edit: Maybe coppertone and bronze are different. I believe these are a hybrid with R. indica, not sure with which Eriobotrya species.

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.

Yes it seems like the individual plant at Kew is not at all hardy. But in the paper they mention:„Seeds were gathered by him at Phulchoke, to the south-southeast of Kathmandu on the road from Lalitpur, due east of Godawari.” (Which, I think is hardiness zone 8 or 9).
What I think is really strange is that it just can tolerate temperatures down to 7 °C (44,6 °F). That would be even to frost tender for zone 10. (The warmest hardiness zone in Nepal).
But how I wrote earlier, the species is distributed in different hardiness zones, even in hardiness zone 6. http://www.floraofnepal.org/onlineflora?wildcard=10149
If you take seeds from a individual in the north (hardiness zone 6), the plant should grow well in zone 7.
Thank you very much for the flowering and fruiting information for E.fragrans and petiolata, but unfortunately I cant open the first link.(That one: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200010832)

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: https://imgur.com/a/kQkp5Fo


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