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.
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.
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.
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.