Content Detail

Common flowering quince is a tall, deciduous shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high. Shiny, dark green leaves appear before the scarlet-red flowers emerge in spring. Dense tangles of stems have spiny thorns. Best used as a hedge, back of the border or in mass. Edible fruit is used to make jam and jellies. 

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Clay soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early spring, mid spring
  • Flower color and fragrance Orange, Pink, Red, White
  • Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Round, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate

Native geographic location and habitat:

Native to China and Japan.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Flowers attract early pollinators.

Bark color and texture :

Gray-brown bark color.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Alternate, elliptical 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 inch long leaves with serrated margins. New growth emerges red changing to glossy dark green. No fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Single, 1- 1/2 inch diameter flowers in clusters of 2 to 4. Blooms red to scarlet, but some cultivars can be white, yellow and pink and double flowered. Blooms on old wood.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Apple-like fruit, 2 to 3 inches in diameter which is yellow-green and not showy but edible.

Plant care:

Best in full sun to part shade in well drained soils. Avoid high pH soil. Rejuvenate prune to the ground every few years to maintain shape.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Susceptible to fire blight, scab, leaf spots and rabbits. Thorns on stems can be a hazard.

Nivalis Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Nivalis’):

An upright form with white flowers.

Orange Storm Flowering Quince ( Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Orange Storm’):

An orange, double-flowering, rounded form reaching 4 to 5 feet high which is thornless and fruitless.

Scarlet Storm Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Scarlet Storm’):

A red, double-flowering, thornless and fruitless form.

Toyo-Nishiki Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Toyo-Nishiki’):

An unusual form with red, pink, and white flowers in the same flower cluster. Upright, rounded reaching 6 to 10 feet high.

Related species

Hybrid Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles x superba)

This is a group of hybrids resulting from a cross of Chaenomeles japonica and C. speciosa.  Cultivars of this hybrid include:

  • Cameo Hybrid Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles x superba ‘Cameo’): A double-flowering, apricot-pink flower reaching 4 feet high and wide with good disease resistance.
  • Crimson and Gold Hybrid Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles x superba ‘Crimson and Gold’):  Deep red flowers with obvious yellow anthers in the center.
  • Jet Trail Hybrid Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles x superba ‘Jet Trail’): A white flowering sport of Texas Scarlet which is low-growing and 2 to 3 feet high and wide.
  • Texas Scarlet Hybrid Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles x superba ‘Texas Scarlet’): A low-growing, 3 to 4 feet high and wide cultivar with few thorns and bright red flowers.

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