Herb: Bronvaux Medlar


Latin name: Crataegomespilus dardarii


Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)



Edible parts of Bronvaux Medlar:

Fruit - raw or cooked. There are three distinct sizes of fruit on this tree, though they all have the same flavour. The first is quite large, up to 35mm in diameter, and is just like the medlar, Mespilus germanica. The second is slightly smaller, perhaps 25mm in diameter, and once more like a medlar. The third is rather smaller, perhaps 10mm in diameter, and is intermediate between the medlar and the hawthorn, Crataegus spp. The fruit does not ripen until very late in the autumn, or even early winter. It will probably need to be harvested before it is fully ripe and stored in a cool but frost-free place where it can continue the ripening process. It is ready to eat when the flesh has turned brown and is very soft. It will then have a delicious, sweet flavour that reminds you of a lush tropical fruit. Care must be taken that the fruit is eaten no later than this stage because it is almost at the point of rotting and will can then cause gastric upsets.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Tree

Height:
5 m
(16 feet)

Flovering:
May

Habitat of the herb:

Not known in the wild

Propagation of Bronvaux Medlar:

Seed - this species is a bi-generic graft hybrid and is very unlikely to breed true from seed. Should you want to give it a try, then the seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be stratified for 3 months at 15C and then for another 3 months at 4C. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process. Another possibility is to harvest the seed "green" (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years. Grafting onto a rootstock of hawthorn, Crataegus species.

Cultivation of the herb:

Not known in the wild

Medicinal use of Bronvaux Medlar:

None known

Known hazards of Crataegomespilus dardarii:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.