Content Detail

Japanese flowering quince is a low-growing, spring-flowering shrub with dark green shiny leaves. The growth habit changes with the cultivars, often reaching 3 to 4 feet high. Bright orange-scarlet flowers appear after the leaves emerge. Most stems have thorns, so avoid planting near sidewalks and heavy traffic areas.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small shrub (3-5 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 Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites
  • Season of interest early spring
  • Flower color and fragrance Orange
  • Shape or form Thicket-forming
  • Growth rate Moderate

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Japanese flowering quince is native to China and Japan.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife: 

The flowers attract early pollinators.

Bark color and texture: 

The dark grey stems have spiny thorns, with a somewhat zig-zag pattern.

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

The leaves are alternate, simple, 1 to 2 inches long, dark-green, obovate-shaped with serrated edges. The petioles have stipules.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

The 1 to 1 1/2 inch flowers are bright orange-red in early spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

The fruit is an apple-like, 1 to 2 inch diameter, yellow-green pome. It is fragrant, astringent, and used to make jams and jellies.

Plant care:

Japanese flowering quince is an adaptable, easy to grow shrub. It does best in full sun for good flowering display, but is tolerant of part shade. Avoid high pH soils. It has a spreading habit and the stems can become tangled and unkempt. Rejuvenate every few years to maintain its form. It may be difficult to find in nurseries.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Chlorosis can be a problem in high pH soil. Leaf spots, fire blight, scab, and aphids can also be issues.


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