A tree of moderate size, the loquat may reach 20 to 30 ft (6-9 in), has a rounded crown, short trunk, and woolly new twigs. The evergreen leaves, mostly whorled at the branch tips, are elliptical-lanceolate to ovate lanceolate, 5 to 12 in (12.5-30 cm) long and 3 to 4 in (7.5-10 cm) wide; dark-green and glossy on the upper surface, whitish-or rusty-hairy beneath, thick, stiff, with conspicuous parallel, oblique veins, each usually terminating at the margin in a short, prickly point.
Sweetly fragrant flowers, borne in rusty-hairy, terminal panicles of 30 to 100 blooms, are white, 5-petalled, 1/2 to 3/4 in (1.25-2 cm) wide. The fruits, in clusters of 4 to 30, are oval, rounded or pear-shaped, 1 to 2 in (2.5-5 cm) long, with smooth or downy, yellow to orange, sometimes red-blushed, skin, and white, yellow or orange, succulent pulp, of sweet to subacid or acid flavor. There may be 1 to 10 seeds, though, ordinarily, only 3 to 5, dark-brown or light-brown, angular -ellipsoid, about 5/8 in (1.5 cm) long and 5/16 in (8mm) thick.