Mespilus germanica

Mespilus germanica
Medlar pomes and leaves.jpg
Foliage and fruit
Scientific classification edit
M. germanica
Binomial name
Mespilus germanica

Mespilus germanica, known as the medlar or common medlar, is a large shrub or small tree, and the name of the fruit of this tree. The fruit has been cultivated since Roman times, and is unusual in being available in winter, and in being eaten when bletted. It is eaten raw and in a range of dishes. When the genus Mespilus is included in the genus Crataegus, the correct name for this species is Crataegus germanica Kuntze.

Origins and related species

Despite its Latin name, which means German or Germanic medlar, it is indigenous to Persia (Iran), southwest Asia and also southeastern Europe, especially the Black Sea coasts of Bulgaria and of modern Turkey. It may have been cultivated for as long as 3,000 years.[1] The ancient Greek geographer Strabo refers to a μέσπιλον (mespilon) in Geographica, book 16, Chapter 4.[2]

The flower has long sepals that remain on the fruit.
Flower bud showing petals and sepals
Flower bud
The sepals are behind the petals.
Open flower

Until recently, Mespilus germanica was the only known species of medlar. However, in 1990, a new species was discovered in North America, now named Mespilus canescens. The loquat, Eriobotrya japonica, is more distantly related than genera such as Crataegus, Amelanchier, Peraphyllum, and Malacomeles,[3] but was once thought to be closely related, and is still sometimes called the 'Japanese medlar'.

From an extensive study of literature and plant specimens, Kazimierz Browicz concluded that the[1]

true homeland [of Mespilus germanica] is only in the south-eastern part of the Balkan peninsula, in Asia Minor, on the Caucasus, Crimea, northern Iran and possibly also in Turkmenia.

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Къущхьэмышхей
العربية: زعرور جرماني
azərbaycanca: Alman əzgili
català: Nespler
čeština: Mišpule obecná
Cymraeg: Merysbren
dansk: Mispel
Deutsch: Mispel
dolnoserbski: Pšawa wušpula
Esperanto: Mespilo
euskara: Mizpira
فارسی: ازگیل
français: Néflier
furlan: Gnespolâr
Gaeilge: Meispeal
Gaelg: Meidil
گیلکی: کونوس
hornjoserbsce: Prawa myšpla
hrvatski: Mušmula
Lëtzebuergesch: Aaspel
Ligure: Nespoa
Limburgs: Mispel (plantj)
مازِرونی: کنس
Nederlands: Mispel
नेपाली: लौकाट (फल)
Napulitano: Nèspele
occitan: Nesplièr
Piemontèis: Mespilus germanica
português: Mespilus germanica
română: Hascul
shqip: Mushmolla
slovenščina: Nešplja
српски / srpski: Обична мушмула
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Obična mušmula
suomi: Mispeli
svenska: Mispel
Türkçe: Muşmula
українська: Чишкун звичайний
Tiếng Việt: Mespilus germanica
walon: Mesplî
吴语: 欧楂
粵語: 歐楂
中文: 歐楂