From Old Spanish niéspero, néspero, from Vulgar Latin *nespirum, from Latin mespilum, borrowed from Ancient Greek μέσπιλον (méspilon), most likely of non-Indo-European origin. For the development of the stressed vowel, compare avispa (from Old Spanish biespa) and víspera (from Old Spanish viésperas).
níspero m (plural nísperos)
- medlar (Mespilus germanica, now Crataegus germanica)
- Synonym: níspero europeo
- loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)
- Synonym: níspero japonés
- (Caribbean, Central America, Venezuela) sapodilla (Manilkara zapota and Manilkara huberi)
- great burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis)
The medlar was the original níspero, but is becoming less and less well-known. Even in Spain, where the medlar still grows, the medlar is being replaced by the introduced loquat in most usage. If you want to be sure, the loquat is níspero japonés and the medlar is níspero europeo.