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Chaenomeles speciosa – pronounced Ky-anom-aleez: Greek for ‘split apple’. Speciosa means ‘showy’, referring to the very showy flowers.
‘Contorta’ – Pale pink buds and white single flowers set off twisting leaves, branches and thorns. Left alone, this shrub grows to 2-3’ tall & wider, but it makes an interesting bonsai specimen as well.
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Common: Flowering Quince
Origin: Native to China, Japan & Korea
Characteristics: White, pink, peach, orange or red flowers bloom in mid to late winter, before bronze and green new leaves show up in March.
Most flowers are single types, but new cultivars are becoming available with semi-double and fully double blooms. Yellow-green apple-shaped fruit follows flowers, ripening in October.
Eaten fresh, the fruit will cause serious facial contortions due to its sour nature. Sweetened, it can be used in tasty preserves and jellies. Branches are often thorny, so beware!
Size: Mature sizes vary. Some are low and spreading, forming a thicket-like mass, great for supporting birds and other wildlife. Others are tall shrubs with an upright oval shape.
Low sizes – 2-3’ tall x 5-6’ wide
Medium sizes – 4-5’ tall x 4-5’ wide
Tall sizes – 6-10’ tall x 4-6’ wide
Culture: Quince is very adaptable, thriving in a broad range of soil conditions including dry spots. Flowers are more prolific if planted in full sun, but quince will thrive in partial shade as well.
Leaves can burn when plants are grown in containers, so extra water or afternoon shade may discourage this from happening.Plants are very tough, multi-stemmed and often thorny, so plant them in an area where they have the space they need and where they won’t need to be moved. Hardy Z4-8.
Diseases: Aphids are often prevalent on new growth and can be sprayed off with water or treated with a broad variety of insecticides.Leaf spots burn can cause defoliation during summer months. Leaf spots are fungal and can be avoided by improved air and soil circulation and dormant sprays.