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Medlar Tree (Mespilus germanica)Origin: Southwest Asia
Rootstock: Quince 'A'
Size : Maiden
Harvest : November
The Medlar tree is slow growing, small and attractive, with cascades of beautiful white Quincelike flowers. Self fertile, it will grow well in most soils and conditions and has an attractive habit, which with its masses of pretty white blossom makes it a lovely garden tree. Medlars are easy to grow too, and produce edible fruit.
It seems medlars might have come to the UK with the Romans. They were popular here in the Middle Ages and among the Victorians, although now they're much rarer. They were certainly well known to Anglo Saxons, who knew the fruit by various names, some unrepeatable... Shakespeare certainly knew about them; Mercutio didn't hold back on the topic in Romeo and Juliet - gentle reader, look away now:
Now will he sit under a medlar tree
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone.
O Romeo, that she were, O that she were
An open-arse and thou a poperin pear.
Medlars also appear in Chaucer and Cervantes, and feature in Culpeper's 17th century Herbal. They were supposedly a curative for a range of ailment from kidney stone to - I suppose inevitably - piles.
Medlar fruit generally has to be bletted before use - left to soften after picking. It makes interesting jelly and chutney, and will also make very tasty "cheese". Medlars also make a very good sticky toffee pudding . Good eating for the birds too.
Plants For Sale
We offer a number of cultivars:
'Bredase Reus': Dutch variety
'Macrocarpa': Large fruit, good cropping.
'Nottingham': Compact and popular garden variety, will produce fruit on young trees, but some say of poorer quality than some other cultivars.
'Original': Reliable cropping and nameless clone, grown in Britain for many years.
'Royal': Smaller fruit than 'Nottingham', but seemingly better flavoured.
'Westerveld': Dutch cultivar
Supplier : R.V. Roger Ltd.
We donate half of our profits on Medlar tree sales to Common Ground
All our fruit trees are bare root. At the height of the lifting season - between November and March - there may be up to a month's delay between placing the order and dispatching due to pressure of orders, which are dealt with in date sequence, and the weather. Orders for Mespilus germanica from March to September are confirmed in late October/ early November ready for dispatch from November. Please consult our planting and care guide on receipt of your Medlar tree.