My largest japanese loquat, which was transported in the back floor of my car 4 short years ago, is now quite large and for the first time it has fruited. I was wondering when the fruit ripens and if it's at all tasty. Regardless, the birds - and my young outdoor cats - will have a blast.
Yes, Core, I planted it outside in early June 2006- it was my first spring here. I never expected mine to fruit in my zone. Since then I've planted an additional 13 on my property - in fact I have a few fruit on another tree that's also getting big. These trees grow incredibly fast, and I love them. I did a little online research and found that there are many different varieties, and some taste better than others.
My loquat fruit ripened quickly. I harvested all that I could reach last week. The flavor reminds me of peachs/plums. The seeds are pretty and some fruit had up to 4 seeds. I've noticed many trees around town that are also loaded with fruit.
I'd give it a try, especially planted in a warm micro climate. I'm in rural Sumter County, where morning winter temps frequently dip into the teens. If you reside within Raleigh's heat island effect, I'll bet your morning lows aren't much colder than mine. Mine are planted out in the open, with no protection from cold winter winds. Even if it doesn't fruit, it's a beautiful evergreen with fragrant blossoms.
Kay - from one Jones girl to another, I'd love that. But I grow mostly hostas and irises, and neither does well in FL. I have over 500 irises and 50 hostas. But I do volunteer at Plant delights Nursery, so have a few of theirs? nothing special in tropicals. About the only things really special of theirs that I have to share right now are the black liriope and the Sturtgartt cannas. I just got in a Gold Heart bleeding heart, but it's just the one right now.