Botanical name: Mespilus germanica "Sibley's"
Ideal Location & conditions: Full sun or partial shade
Size after 5 years: 1m x 75cm
Soil: Soil based compost with grit and additional water retaining substrate if possible. Flowering colour: Pure white
Flowering period: April - May
Fruit harvest period: November
“You’l be rotten ere you bee halfe ripe, and that’s the right virtue of the medler” - Unknown from 1718
There are all sorts of very good reasons to grow a Medlar in your garden - eating them raw straight off the tree is not one of them! However, made into a “paste”, “jam” or “cheese” and it’s a whole different ball-game. They are delicious!
Medlar are related to Quince and are an unusual fruit that’s for sure. Like so many fruits, their origin is probably from the area we now know as Kazakhstan. They were brought to our shores by the Romans (who prized them for their medicinal use), and the travelling herbalist monks spread them across the UK. Good for the water works apparently!
They are long lived trees, some very long lived indeed, and they are one of the very best fruit trees for architectural interest in the garden. They have long leathery leaves, branches that shoot off at strange angles and probably the largest flowers of any commonly grown fruit on our shores.
Medlar are one of the easiest and most successful fruit trees to grow, seemingly giving a full crop of almost perfectly round dark brown fruits every year, come what may, and have the added benefit of being naturally quite dwarfing in their growth. It’s a pretty safe bet that none of your friends have a Medlar tree, so that’s reason enough to plant one to our mind!
To add to their uniqueness, Medlar even have their own ripening term: “bletting” - which means that you pick them, store them and wait for them to soften. You then scoop out the flesh (or you can leave them on the tree right through until January and let them “blet” naturally). After that, then it’s time to get the recipe books out and work your magic. Fantastic with a pork-pie or a really good mature Cheddar.
5 Reasons to grow Medlars:
• Fantastic leathery looking leaves
• An almost oriental growing habit
• Beautiful, large and very plentiful flowers
• Large crops of fruit almost every year
• You will be the only one on the street that can boast about having had a “successful bletting”
Plants are despatched on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We deliver to England, Wales and mainland Scotland using a next day delivery courier service.
A delivery charge of £7.95 will be applied to all orders. We send a maximum of 5 trees per consignment. If you would like to order 6 trees or more, please contact us for a bespoke quote as we may be able to offer you a better price for larger orders.
We do not currently offer delivery to the Scottish Highlands and Islands, to Northern Ireland or outside the UK.
For more information visit our delivery page.
With a combined experience of over 50 years in the industry our knowledge on how to grow our Terrace plants is second to none.
Every tree and plant sold comes with a care leaflet to get you started on your growing journey as well as a lifetime advice package - this means you can be confident that you will be provided with all the support and knowledge to get the best out of your new plant.
Visit our advice hub for guides about growing fruit trees as well as inspiration for your garden and how to use your produce.
View our FAQs for the most commonly asked question in relation to caring for fruit trees
Contact us if you would like specific advice about a plant before you place your order.