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Japanese Garden Plants
This is where to find details on plants. We don't have a lot of images, but we'll be providing articles and details as we are able. If you have materials to contribute or gaps to fill in, please let us know.

Japanese Name:biwa 
English Name:Loquat 
Latin Name:Eriobotrya japonica 
Native Habitat:in a village by a stream 
Light:full to partial sun 
Soil:tolerant of most soils though best in deep, moist soil 
Flower Color:white 
Bloom Time:late autumn to winter 
Width:8 m 
Height:10 m 
Last Updated:7/6/2000 
Details: This semi-globular tree is an evergreen native to China and Japan. The dark green leaves are oblong and thick, with rusty fuzz underneath. Fragrant white flowers grow upright on the branch tips during the late fall and winter. The plum-sized, yellow fruit are sweet and form during the spring and summer and can be eaten raw, stewed or preserved.

The biwa is fairly tolerant of most soil conditions, though it does best in deep, moist soil. It can be propagated by grafting but is often sold balled and burlapped or in containers. It needs full sun to fully fruit, though it will tolerate partial shade. It is recommended that this tree not be fertilized and watered only under very dry conditions. While the biwa is usually considered a tropical plant (zones 8-10) it will grow in colder areas though it is unlikely to fruit.

By the way, the name 'biwa' is probably from the lute-like instrument of the same name. It is often seen in temples and shrines.

For further reference:
Japanese Garden Society of Oregon. Oriental Gardening. New York: Pantheon Books, 1996, p. 66.

Kitamura, Fumio and Ishizu Yurio. Garden Plants in Japan. Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1963, p. 93.

Betty Richards and Anne Kaneko, Japanese Plants, Tokyo: Shufunotomo, 1988, p. 120-121.


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