Common medlar (Mespilus germanica) is a large shrub or small tree, and the name of the fruit of this tree. The fruit has been cultivated since Roman times, and is unusual in being available in winter, and in being eaten when bletted. It is eaten raw and in a range of dishes. When the genus Mespilus is included in the genus Crataegus, the correct name for this species is Crataegus germanica Kuntze.
Despite its Latin name, which means German or Germanic medlar, it is indigenous to Persia (Iran), southwest Asia and also southeastern Europe, especially the Black Sea coasts of Bulgaria and of modern Turkey. It may have been cultivated for as long as 3,000 years.
Until recently, Mespilus germanica was the only known species of medlar. However, in 1990, a new species was discovered in North America, now named Mespilus canescens.
The flower of a common medlar is white-coloured.