Medlar, a small, sometimes thorny, Eurasian fruit tree. It is widely grown in Europe and to some extent in the United States. The tree, 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 m) high, can be grown from seeds or by grafting. It bears lance-shaped or oblong hairy leaves and 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) white or pinkish flowers. The apple-shaped fruit, also called medlar, is 1 1/2 to 2 inches (4 to 5 cm) in diameter and has a slightly sour taste. It ripens in late fall. Frost starts a decaying process, called bletting, that softens the fruit. Medlars are used chiefly for preserves, but may be eaten fresh.
The medlar is Mespilus germanica of the rose family, Rosaceae.