Scientific Name: Pyrus cydonia
Alternate Names: na
Description: Cydonia oblonga is a deciduous Tree growing to 7.5 m (24ft) by 7 m (23ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Uses: Fruit – raw or cooked. When grown in warm temperate or tropical climates, the fruit can become soft and juicy and is suitable for eating raw. In cooler climates such as Britain, however, it remains hard and astringent and needs to be cooked before being eaten. It is used in jellies, preserves etc[9, 183]. The cooked fruit adds a delicious flavour to cooked apples[3, 37, 46, 61]. Strongly aromatic with a firm but rather gritty flesh. The fruit is rich in pectin. The fruit is about 10m long and 9cm wide, tapering to the stalk. A nutritional analysis is available. A drink can be made by adding the dried crushed seed to water, simmering for 5 minutes and sweetening to taste. Flowers. No further details are given.
Medicinal: The stem bark is astringent, it is used in the treatment of ulcers. The seed is a mild but reliable laxative, astringent and anti-inflammatory. When soaked in water, the seed swells up to form a mucilaginous mass. This has a soothing and demulcent action when taken internally and is used in the treatment of respiratory diseases, especially in children. This mucilage is also applied externally to minor burns etc. The fruit is antivinous, astringent, cardiac, carminative, digestive, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, pectoral, peptic, refrigerant, restorative, stimulant and tonic[4, 9, 46, 218]. The unripe fruit is very astringent, a syrup made from it is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and is particularly safe for children[4, 254]. The fruit, and its juice, can be used as a mouthwash or gargle to treat mouth ulcers, gum problems and sore throats. The leaves contain tannin and pectin. Tannin can be used as an astringent whilst pectin has a beneficial effect on the circulatory system and helps to reduce blood pressure[K].