Medlar (Mespilus germanica) is a small deciduous tree or shrub that belongs to the Rosaceae family. Native to Europe and Southwest Asia, medlar is renowned for its unique and somewhat unusual fruits. The medlar fruit has a distinctive shape, resembling a small russeted apple or rosehip. It is known for its tart and astringent flavor, which mellows and becomes sweeter after undergoing a natural process called "bletting." Medlars are often enjoyed fresh or used in various culinary preparations, including preserves, jellies, pies, and liqueurs. The medlar tree features attractive, broad, and ovate leaves that turn vibrant shades of yellow and orange in the fall, adding ornamental value to gardens and landscapes. It produces beautiful white or pale pink flowers in spring, which are followed by the unique medlar fruits. Medlar trees are known for their hardiness and ability to tolerate various growing conditions, making them suitable for both commercial cultivation and home gardens.




Medlars are typically grown in temperate regions with mild winters and warm summers. They prefer well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. While medlar trees can tolerate a range of soil types, they thrive in fertile, loamy soil. Adequate sunlight exposure is essential for optimal fruit production, although they can tolerate partial shade. Medlar trees require regular watering, especially during dry periods, to support their growth and fruit development. Pruning is necessary to maintain the tree's shape, remove dead or diseased wood, and promote airflow, which reduces the risk of fungal diseases.


Medlar trees are usually grown as standalone specimens and do not require specific training systems. However, they can be shaped and pruned to maintain a desirable form and size. Medlars are often cultivated as small trees or large shrubs, depending on the desired growth habit and available space. They have a natural spreading habit, forming a rounded canopy with a well-branched structure.


The spacing between medlar trees depends on several factors, including the specific cultivar, growth habit, and available space. Here are some typical spacings for medlar cultivation:

Stand-alone Trees: Medlar trees are typically spaced 4 to 6 meters (12 to 20 feet) apart to allow ample room for their mature size. This spacing provides sufficient airflow and sunlight exposure to each tree and allows for easy access for pruning and harvesting.

It's important to consider the growth characteristics of the chosen medlar variety and adapt the spacing accordingly to ensure optimal growth and fruit production. Pruning should be done regularly to maintain the tree's shape, remove dead or crossing branches, and promote overall tree health.

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The Domestic medlar variety is a small deciduous tree that is highly prized for its unique and flavorful fruit. It has an upright and vigorous growth habit with a spreading canopy, reaching a moderate size. The tree boasts attractive dark green foliage and beautiful white blossoms, and can also add an ornamental value to the landscape. Resilient to frost and drought. It can be cultivated without chemical care.

Domestic medlar is a self-pollinating variety.

The fruit of the Domestic medlar has a round shape and features a russet-brown skin that develops a rough texture as it matures. The fruit is typically medium-sized, and when fully ripe, it becomes soft and yields to gentle pressure. The flesh is pale yellow to light green and has a sweet to sour, and aromatic flavor. The unique taste of the medlar fruit is often described as a combination of apple and pear with a touch of honey.

Domestic medlars are harvested when they are fully mature but still firm. The ideal harvest time usually falls in late autumn or early winter, around the end of October, after the fruit has undergone the natural bletting process. Bletting refers to the softening and ripening of the fruit that occurs off the tree. Once harvested, medlars can be stored for a few weeks to allow further bletting, which enhances their flavor and sweetness.

The Domestic medlar is highly regarded for its culinary uses. The ripe fruit can be eaten fresh, although it is often preferred to let it blet before consuming. Medlars can be enjoyed on their own, added to fruit salads, or used in a variety of culinary preparations. They can be used to make delicious preserves, jellies, jams, and sauces. Domestic medlar is a prized fruit among culinary enthusiasts and those seeking a unique addition to their garden.

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