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Wanted: Temperate Eriobotrya species - East Asia

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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.

I'm also interested in that too, for temperate species of that genus.

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 ZonesEriobotrya bengalensis9/10Eriobotrya cavaleriei8/9/10Eriobotrya deflexa9/10/11Eriobotrya elliptica8/9/10Eriobotrya fragrans5/8/9/10/11Eriobotrya henryi9/10Eriobotrya japonica8/9/10Eriobotrya malipoensis10Eriobotrya obovata9Eriobotrya prinoides8/9/10Eriobotrya salwinensis9Eriobotrya seguinii9/10Eriobotrya serrata9/10Eriobotrya tengyuehensis9/10
SourcesAtlas of Woody Plants in China: Distribution and Climate, Volume 1https://books.google.at/books?id=rXTGyOlDjdoC&pg=PA515#v=onepage&q&f=falseChina Plant Hardiness Zone Maphttps://www.backyardgardener.com/garden-forum-education/hardiness-zones/china-hardiness-zone-map/

USDA Zone 5? Foreal?

Yeah that doesn't look right. Why would it be 5/8/9... and not 5/6/7/8/9...? It looks like they're native to the mountainous southern China and northern Vietnam at around 850m. From what I've read that area doesn't get that cold, probably somewhere around -2 C or so annual low. From what I've read loquat (japonica) grows in Seattle, but only sometimes sets fruit there, and that's 8b, almost 9a. If I were you, I'd be looking for one with a native range farther north. Seems like Eriobotrya hookeriana or Eriobotrya petiolata might have potential, as they're from the eastern Himalayas. I see hookeriana is reported to grow in a city called Trongsa. From the climate data there: https://weatherspark.com/y/111894/Average-Weather-in-Trongsa-Bhutan-Year-Round it looks like they dip into the teens (F), so maybe like -8C? It can probably take a bit below that, but maybe not 14C, to get to 7a.

If you're just looking for rootstock, quince works and is hardy below 7a, but from what I've read the loquat flowers wouldn't set fruit if they freeze.


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