Just before the fragrance garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a little, forgotten lawn with a beautiful tree to one side, less than twenty feet high. It was covered in these flowers two weeks ago, each about three inches across. The closest I can come to identifying it - it had no label that I could see (the one in the picture if for a perennial) - is guessing that it is in the guava family. This tree has clearly weathered many Northeastern winters...
Can anyone help?
Update 5-18-10: Thank you, Sheema Kalbasi. Trust an Iranian: Sheema writes that she believes this is medlar, and indeed, it is! Native to Iran. I have never seen the fruit or the tree before, though have certainly read about them. It is probably Mespilus germanica
Like persimmons, extremely hard and acidic medlars must be bletted before being edible and are considered best after frost.
D.H. Lawrence: "Wineskins of brown morbidity, autumnal excrementa ... an exquisite odour of leave taking"