'Big Jim' loquat

MrClintApril 1, 2014

'Big Jim' loquat ripening nicely:

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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Love me some Loquats! I got a variety called Genoa Loquat from a guy in my local area. He brought seeds from a huge white loquat he ate in Italy. Grew them out and sells grafted trees from his back yard. Said they are twice as big as any loquat he's seen in the states and said they are delicious. I can't wait to try them!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 11:22AM
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MrClint

Yeah, love the easy care, tropical look and taste of loquats. The harvest timing is right too -- just after oranges and just before peaches.

Would like to see a picture of those beauties! Big Jim is the largest variety that I know of and it's a yellow. The only white I'm growing is 'Champagne' and it's smaller than Big Jim.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 2:03PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

I only have one Loquat and its still just a whip at this point. Its only 4ft tall with one branch. I want to add another one so I will look into Big Jim. Have you tasted that one yet? Do most taste alike? Ive tasted several but no idea of the varieties.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 3:39PM
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melikeeatplants

Big Jim in San Jose

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 8:40PM
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MrClint

melikeeatplants, looking good.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2014 at 11:29PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

So how does Big Jim compair to other loquats? Ive only eaten a few random fruits and they were all good. Does anyone have a preference for certain varieties? Is Big Jim the best overall yellow loquat?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:07AM
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MrClint

blueboy1977, that's a dang good question! To make a long story longer... I grew up surrounded by 'Golden Nugget' and chance seedlings, so I can't be considered a loquat connoisseur by any stretch. They were all very good eating though if you caught them at the right time. The challenge of hunting down the best tasting variety would be getting a sample of all the varieties at peak of flavor. At the end of the day I went with 'Big Jim' and 'Champagne' based on size and reputation alone.

Do take some time to read Loco for Loquats by renowned fruit hunter/writer David Karp.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 8:58AM
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MrClint

As I start sampling both loquats, I can detect a slight citrus "edge" to the 'Champagne' loquat that is very appealing. 'Big Jim' has a mellower flavor, which means less acidity.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 11:29PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

melikeeatplants,
When do yours start ripening?I know a guy in Fremont and when I visit there,it's too early or late.It seems like every street has a few trees.
The only ones I've tried,were picked in the city (SF) and they were small and okay but had mostly seeds.Probably were picked late too. Brady

Here's that tree

and it's fruit

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:52AM
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Voyage034(USDA 10a Sunset 23)

The pictured tree is a Bronze Loquat, Eriobotrya deflexa. The edible ones like 'Big Jim' are Eriobotrya japonica.

There are a lot of great lesser known varieties here in San Diego selected by Big Jim himself. Scion wood may be obtainable by attending the monthly CRFG meetings in Balboa Park. 'China Doll' is one of my favorites.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 1:14PM
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MrClint

Voyage034, loquats are a hard fruit to taste test for ordinary folks. I've never had one that blew my doors off, but also never had a spitter yet either.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 2:29PM
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alan haigh

Mr. Clint, I'm always a bit reluctant to open your posts because I'm afraid of drowning in nostalgia. My father's second wife is selling my boyhood home in Topanga where I planted a single loquat- probably just a seedling.

The house is just a short ways up from Topanga Creek on W. Hillside Dr. a couple miles before the PO. More often than not, freezes would knock off the crop there- it was a cold spot. When it did have fruit it was heavenly to be picking it in early spring. Otherwise I'd have to find plants by the beach to enjoy those early pickings.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 4:41PM
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MrClint

harvestman, that's a nice area over there. I'm sure we knew some of the same people. I don't remember all the names due to the fog of time. :)

Up until the release and widespread availability of the 'Gold Nugget' mandarin, loquats were just about the only fruit to be eaten off the tree and out of hand in early spring.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 5:15PM
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melikeeatplants

"melikeeatplants,
When do yours start ripening?I know a guy in Fremont and when I visit there,it's too early or late.It seems like every street has a few trees. "

well, my big jim is young, 1st year fruiting, but it seems to be following the pattern of trees i eat from off the street. some are ripe now and some are still green, various stages in between.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 6:14PM
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MrClint

OK, I had a Big Jim this morning that was a deep dark orange. It had some blemishes on it, and was certainly no thing of beauty, but the taste was sublime. No way am I giving up on this guy! :)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2014 at 11:33PM
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