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, at the back of the border, or en masse. Edible fruit is used to make jam and jellies. 

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), 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 two to four. Blooms red to scarlet, but some cultivars can be white, yellow, pink, or 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. Rejuvenation 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. It is thorn less and fruitless.

Scarlet Storm flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Scarlet Storm’):

A red, double-flowering, thorn less 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 and rounded, it can reach 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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