April's Flowering Quince
Common Name: Flowering quince
Botanical Name: Chaenomeles speciosa
Form: shrubby, dense, twiggy, oval horizontal
Plant Type: deciduous shrub
Mature Size: 6 to 10ft tall and wide
Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8
Foliage: simple, shiny, dark green, finely-toothed, broad-oval, green leaves to 2” long.
Flowers: March, April, fragrant scarlet blooms on fruiting spurs on old wood, 5 round petals to 1.5 wide, white stamens, blossoms before leaves emerge,
Fruit: showy, edible, greenish yellow fragrant pomes, edible, ripen in early fall
Stems: thorny, with alternate leaves
Exposure: sun to part shade, full sun best
Soil: soil tolerant, clay, drought tolerant, prefers well-drained soil
Uses: shrub border, erosion control, informal barrier hedge, espalier
Propagation: layering, softwood cuttings and seeds
Pruning: avoid heavy pruning, prune to shape as needed in spring right after flowering
Problems: suckers may appear from the roots, remove asap, apple scape, rust, scale, fungal leaf spot, high pH promotes yellow foliage (chlorosis).
Flowering quince (C. speciosa) produce simple but pretty colourful flowers in spring before their 3 inch long foliage emerges. Each cupped-shaped fragrant flower bears many yellow stamens. Their 2 to 5 inch pome fruit is also fragrant and ripens in the fall. Although they are edible, they are best turned into preserves. They are often used as a substitute for the true quince (Cydonia oblonga).
Japanese quince, Maule's quince (C. japonica), is smaller than the speciosa, growing 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide, with 2 inch long foliage. Flowers are an orange scarlet. Produces 2 inch, hard, yellow apple-shaped fruit, also suitable for jams. Zones 5 to 9