Mespilus germanica
Common Name: medlar 
Type: Tree
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Europe, Asia
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: White to light pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall
Fruit: Showy, Edible

Culture

Best grown in moist, fertile loams in full sun to light shade. Site in locations protected from strong winds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Mespilus germanica, commonly known as medlar, is a small, coarse, rounded tree or large shrub with spiny twisted branching that typically grows to 20' tall. It is native primarily to woodland and scrub areas from southeastern Europe to central Asia. Five-petaled, white to pink-tinged flowers (to 2" diameter) appear singly in June. Fruit is a brown pome (1" diameter) with an open end that is crowned by persistant calyces. Immature fruits are hard and inedible. Fruits are typically not picked from the tree until late autumn after leaf drop. Fruits may benefit from some light frost prior to being picked. After being picked, the fruit is usually stored in a cool place until it becomes over-ripe with soft, mushy, sweetened pulp (a process known as bletting). Ripened fruit may be scooped out with a spoon. Toothed, oblong to lanceolate, dull green leaves (to 5" long) are hairy on both sides. Yellow and red fall color is often attractive. Notwithstanding the specific epithet, this tree is not considered to be native to Germany, but may have been introduced there by the Romans.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for this fruit.

Specific epithet means of Germany.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Ornamental tree that produces attractive foliage, flowers, edible fruits and fall color.