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Loquat – a delicious fruit ready for the Chiang Mai valley?

September 2, 2010

At the “Stone Forest”, situated east of Kunming in Yunnan, we saw many vendors of fruit. One man had a small bag with loquat (Eriobotrya japonica, Rosaceae). This variety was truly delicious, a nice aroma mixed with acids and sugars. I asked my Chinese colleagues where they grow it, and they said it is a “lowland species from the tropics”. Apparently it prefers temperatures not exceeding 40 °C, which is why it grows well in the subtropics too. The species is indigenous to southern China, and my question is if anybody has seen it grown in the Chiang Mai province? I have never seen it at any Thai market, which is not promising, but maybe one could add another remarkable fruit to the Thai dinner table?

Eric Danell

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