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Chaenomeles speciosa

Description

Chaenomeles speciosa, otherwise known as 'Flowering Quince' is a deciduous shrub of the Rosacea family. It is native to China and is relatively easy to grow in spots with well drained soil and medium moisture. It is tolerant of shade but will flower the most if placed in full sun. When mature this plant is mildly drought tolerant.

C. speciosa is a showy plant in multiple ways. Around March and into April it will flower profusely with medium-sized, scarlet-red blooms. Like its common name suggests, this plant is a fruiting shrub and produces quince fruit. These fruits are normally considered inedible right off of the tree due to their being hard and bitter, however, they are used to create preserves and jellies and some people eat them after having them set out to ripen. The fruits are yellow-green in color and around 2.5 inches long. This plant will flower off of old growth and moderation in pruning is recommended if you desire fruit, otherwise, this plant can be pruned heavily. Prune in the spring to shape and to stimulate the growth of flowering spurs for the next year. This will improve the next year's flowering but will reduce fruit production for the current year.

C. speciosa is a tough, hardy plant that would make a great informal hedge.  It is moderately salt-tolerant, and in comparison, C. speciosa is more upright than its relative C. japonica. Dislikes high pH.  It has tangled and dense twiggy growth with spiny branches.

Insects and Diseases: Apids can be a problem on stressed plants.  Fire blight susceptible.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Broad, kidney-shaped stipules at leaf bases
  • Flowers have 5 STALKED petals, appear before leaves
  • Leaves are on dwarf shoots, alternate first year
  • Shrubs are usually thorny, have cane-like growth

Deciduous shrub or small tree to 10'. Produces showy blooms in early spring before leaves; produces ornamental, edible fruits in fall; fruits used for jellies and preserves; used as hedge, massing, barrier (spiny!), shrub border; there are dwarf forms available for low borders. 

C. speciosa is the species most often seen in southern gardens. Stems upright, arching apically, 4-6'. Flowers red. 

C. japonica is a dwarf shrub 2-4' tall; branches arch outward. Flowers salmon to orangish. 

Tolerates dry soil; intolerant of alkaline soil; easily transplanted; rapid, cane-like growth; pest/disease problems.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Old Red'
  • 'Orange Delight'
  • 'Orange Storm'
    Bright orange double blooms.
  • 'Pink Storm'
  • 'Scarlet Storm'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#butterflies#deciduous#showy#salt tolerant#playground#showy fruits#hedges#food source#deer resistant#screens#children's garden#play#edible fruits#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Old Red'
  • 'Orange Delight'
  • 'Orange Storm'
    Bright orange double blooms.
  • 'Pink Storm'
  • 'Scarlet Storm'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#butterflies#deciduous#showy#salt tolerant#playground#showy fruits#hedges#food source#deer resistant#screens#children's garden#play#edible fruits#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Chaenomeles
    Species:
    speciosa
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China/Japan
    Wildlife Value:
    Is occasionally browsed by deer.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Used for making jellies and preserves
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Dense
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Spines
    Thorns
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    an apple-shaped pome, yellow-green, speckled with small glandular dots, usually to 7 cm dia. an apple-shaped pome, yellow-green, speckled with small glandular dots, usually to 7 cm dia. Green but turns yellow in the fall, fuzzy skin but hard and astringently tart. Normally used to make quince jelly. 2"-2.5". An apple-shaped pome, yellow-green, speckled with small glandular dots, usually to 2.5" dia.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Scarlet, red, pink, or white single to double flowers in late winter to early spring before leaves emerge. Solitary, pink-red-orange-yellow-white, scentless, to 2" dia; petals (5), rounded-obovate, large, stalked; sepals dentate; stamens(40-60) usually golden.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, glossy, dark green leaves; 1.5-3.5 in. long; bronzy red when first emerges; non-showy fall color. On pins, alternate, simple ovate to oblong to lanceolate, serrate; persistent stipules are broad and leafy, kidney-shaped.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Slender, brownish, sometimes spiny.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Recreational Play Area
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Salt
    Problems:
    Spines/Thorns