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Gardening

Le Nespole – Sad – Le Nespole

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The fruits of two different plant species are commonly called medlars, the first one is the Central European Mespilus germanica, with brown fruits that ripen in autumn; the second is a plant of Central Asian origin, now widespread in most of the globe, Eriobotrya japonica, with orange fruits that ripen in early spring. The reason why both fruits share the same name is quite unclear considering that the plants are not at all similar to each other, they do not belong to the same family, and yet the fruits are not alike if they cannot slightly in the aroma emanating from the flesh.

medlar

it is a small tree, very pleasant, with a rounded crown and beautiful star-shaped flowers in late spring, pure white in color. Medlar produces many flowers, which makes it very pleasant even as an ornamental plant; located in a garden, on a sunny area; only young specimens require fertilization and watering in the first years of life. Adult plants are usually content with the water obtained from the weather and do not require large amounts of mineral salts from the soil. Even the most neglected plants bear a lot of fruit; the fruit is brown, round, the size of a golf ball, equally firm and firm.

The fruits of this medlar are not edible after harvesting, on the contrary, they are hard, with a sour taste, which they break with their teeth; to eat them, place them in or near apples or bananas until they are soft. At this point, the orange’s flesh becomes sweet and aromatic.

Jam or marmalade with medlar is difficult to produce, also because fruit when harvested but not left half-way can be stored for months if kept in a cool and sheltered place. exotic, or perhaps because the practice of ammezzamento is not appreciated by most consumers, in fact even kakis, which require similar treatment before consumption, seem to be less and less successful each year.

Eriobotrya japonica A small evergreen tree belonging to the rose family; it has large, characteristic leaves, dark green, strongly wrinkled, quite leathery.

In the cold months, it produces innumerable white star-shaped flowers, gathered in inflorescences at the tips of branches; flowering usually occurs between November and January depending on the climate; it happens that even in the same place, flowering takes place at different times from year to year, depending on the course of the seasons. In spring, small round fruits, the size of golf balls, are orange in color, with smooth skin and sweet flesh, which are eaten raw or used in jams or juices. In Italy, the Japanese medlar is also widely cultivated. since it often finds a place among plants on a mixed border, and sometimes the fruit is not even harvested, it must be placed in a sunny place; does not create particular problems in cultivation, especially when the plant has been planted for a long time; it tolerates cold and heat well, as well as drought, does not require much pruning, maintains a round and harmonious crown, during its lifetime it does not exceed 4-5 meters in height. the main problem for those who want to grow medlar consists of the flowering period: often snowfall or intense frosts from November to December completely spoil flowering and thus also prevent fruiting. For this reason, people who want to grow medlar to obtain many fruits, especially in northern Italy, should plant in a place sheltered from the strongest frosts and winter wind.

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