Japanese quince is a low growing, long-lived deciduous shrub that is a member of the rose family (Roseaceae). It is vigorous, densely branched, and thorny making it an excellent choice for a hedge. The broadly oval leaves are coarsely-toothed and up to two inches long. The orange-scarlet flowers with five petals and white stamens are 1.5 inches across and appear in early spring before the leaves. They are followed by hard, round, greenish yellow fruits 1.5” across that are fragrant when ripe and edible when cooked and made into jelly. The generic name Chaenomeles, comes from the Greek, chaimo, to gape, and melon, meaning apple in the mistaken belief that the fruit split open when ripe. Flowers are good in the vase and plants can be used for bonsai, as well as ornamental in the garden.
Type: Deciduous shrub
Outstanding Feature: Early flowers, edible fruits that can be made into jelly
Form: Rounded mound
Growth Rate: Moderate
Bloom: Orange-scarlet with five petals and white stamens in early spring before the leaves appear
Size: 2- 3’ H x 3-6’ W
Light: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained
Hardiness: Zones 5-8
Care: Trim or prune lightly immediately after flowering as flowering occurs on old growth; remove root suckers to control spread.
Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight, leafspot, scab, aphids, scale
Propagation: Seed, layering, cuttings