The loquat is indigenous to China, a distant relative of apples. It is the fruit of a tropical tree ranging from 3-9 metres high, with a rounded crown, short trunk and woolly new twigs. Its distinctive flowers have a rusty-wooly texture prior to blooming, turning into small, fragrant flowers in autumn. Like many related plants, the seeds and young leaves of the loquat plant are poisonous, releasing cyanide when digested. Its edible fruit is firm, fuzzy and yellow to orange fruit measuring 2 centimetres long in a teardrop shape. It is most commonly eaten as a fresh fruit, but due to its relatively high pectin content is also prized for making jam, jelly and chutney.