The plant, called the medlar (Mespilus), belongs to the family Rosaceae, a subfamily of Apple trees. Fruit tree, decorative. You can grow it in your garden, however, you will need to provide careful care for such exotics.
Types of Medlar
In total, there are about 30 species. However, only 2 of them are found in the gardens - Germanic (Caucasian) and Japanese.
The plant was distributed in the territory of Ancient Babylon and Transcaucasia. At the moment, this species can be found in Western Ukraine, in the Crimea, in Western Europe and other countries where the climate is warm.
Deciduous tree, often multi-stemmed. Spines may be present on the branches. Brown shoots. Flowers are solitary, sometimes paired. 5 sepals, 5 petals, white. The carpels become stony as the fetus forms.
The diameter of the fruit reaches 3 cm, when ripe - brown. Flowering occurs from May to June. In October, you can enjoy the fruits. Honey plant. Withstands frosts down to -23.
Japanese medlar (lokva)
It is not so widespread. Japanese medlar is cultivated in Japan and China. Most of its varieties are bred in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Lokva flowers are bisexual, they are collected in brushes from 3 to 12 cm long. 60-90 flowers are present on the legs. The petals are creamy, white, pubic inside. The aroma of flowers is similar to the smell of bitter almonds. Fruits are formed by self-pollination or cross-pollination. The fruit is large, its pulp is juicy, the skin is dense.
The culture is undemanding to the soil, nevertheless it is better to choose a soil with a neutral reaction. If the groundwater level is higher than 1 meter, it is best to place the plant on a knoll. The level of illumination does not play a special role, but in the light the harvest will be greater.
Japanese medlar does not require additional soil preparation. For poor soil, fertilizer must be applied. If the soil is rich, you can do without fertilizing.
Since German medlar and other varieties are not common in Russia, there are no special rules for planting. The only thing that can be noted: the area that falls on one plant should be at least 1.5x1.5 meters.
Japanese medlar is often struck by a scale insect, which can be combated in several ways. Likes to settle on branches of bushes and aphids.
With a high nitrogen content in the soil and frequent watering, a bacterial root burn can occur. During flowering, the plant requires artificial pollination.
It is recommended to remove damaged and dry branches and form a crown. Twice per season, the bush is sprayed with insecticides. You can use "Insegar", "Fitoverm" or "Lepidocide".
Growing involves fertilizing from May to September. Organic nutrition is beneficial.
- Japanese medlar breeds in spring. In this case, the ambient temperature should reach 16-22 degrees. First, the plant is grown in a greenhouse in the ground from a mixture of sand and peat, in special pots. Shoots can be seen after 10 days.
- In August-September, the medlar Japanese propagates by cuttings. Their length should be 15 cm. Rooting takes place in the sand for a month. Then you can transplant into a pot.
- During flowering, watering is often done - every other day. The soil should be moist all the time.
- Japanese medlar blooms from November to January. At this time, cream or white flowers appear on it. In the summer, fruit is tied in their place.
Benefits and healing properties
German medlar and other varieties have a number of useful properties:
- A decoction of leaves is an excellent hemostatic.
- The fruit is actively used for urolithiasis, to remove stones.
- German medlar well helps with gastrointestinal diseases. The use of fruits in food improves digestion. Unripe fruit is used to make decoctions to get rid of bloody diarrhea.
- A fruit-based alcohol tincture will help cure asthma and bronchitis. Among other things, the presented tool significantly facilitates breathing and will help relieve cough. Tincture will help get rid of heart pain.
- For colds, it is recommended to gargle with an infusion of leaves.
Fresh seeds contain prussic acid, which is why they are poisonous. However, if you grind them and fry them, they can become an excellent substitute for almonds.
Consumption and storage
Mostly, medlar fruits are used as food. Among other things, from it you can cook:
Store the fruit in a cool, dark place. It is important that the fruits do not touch. We recommend that you study all storage rules for fruits and vegetables that will help protect exotic fruits from premature spoilage.
The presented plant can be grown on its site, but for this it is necessary to correctly select a variety. A tree is planted in neutral soil, it is necessary to periodically feed and treat with insecticides. The fruits are juicy, numerous, are used both for eating and for medicinal purposes.