Japanese quince - Chaenomeles speciosa

Chaenomeles speciosa, also known as flowering quince or Japanese quince, is a deciduous shrub native to China and Korea, but widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in many parts of the world.

Some key features of Chaenomeles speciosa include:

  • Appearance: The shrub typically grows to a height of 1.5-2.5 meters and a width of 2-3 meters, with a thorny and often twisted branching structure. The leaves are small and oval-shaped, with a glossy dark green color.
  • Flowers: Chaenomeles speciosa produces showy, bright red, pink or orange flowers in early spring before the leaves emerge. The flowers are usually 3-5 cm in diameter, with five petals and numerous stamens.
  • Fruits: The plant produces a yellow-green, apple-like fruit called a quince that is edible but very sour and astringent when raw. Quinces are often used for making preserves, jams, and jellies.
  • Growing conditions: Chaenomeles speciosa prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It is fairly drought-tolerant once established and can be propagated by seeds, cuttings or layering. It is generally hardy in USDA zones 5-9.

In addition to its ornamental and culinary uses, Chaenomeles speciosa has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its supposed antipyretic, diuretic, and expectorant properties. However, these claims have not been scientifically validated.