growing flowering quince for the fruit

timothina(7a)November 10, 2013

Hi. I was thinking of growing flowering quince for the fruit, and I have a ton of questions! Your advice is appreciated.

1. Any cultivars have especially tasty fruit for jelly? Any good baked or poached?

2. Some sites say flowering quince has fall color and some say it does not. Do you know of any cultivars with nice fall color? Know of any pics?

3. I heard it grows well in partial shade. Does it fruit well in partial shade?

4. I was hoping to espalier it. Any advice?

5. I was wondering if any of the flowers last extra long, or have an especially nice smell.

Thank you so much.

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Hi, first of all 'flowering quince' is just that, a flowering shrub. It does not produce fruit. The 'Quince' is a pome fruit. Look into 'fruiting quince' varieties. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I have a Toyo-Nishiki and although they can fruit,mine hasn't yet and isn't suppose to taste very good anyway and are fairly small by looking at some photos.
Mrs.G's advice is best for fruit. Brady

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 3:42PM
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So, from what I have heard, the flowering quince (not the fruiting quince) is great for making syrups to add to teas. It is used a lot in Asia. They are supposed to be terrible raw, but good cooked. I was just wondering if anyone had experience with the fruit.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 6:03PM
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I don't have any direct experience with flowering quince.

One Green World nursery offers several selected varieties and has descriptions and pictures of some of the blooms

Here is a link that might be useful: flowering quince at One Green World

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 6:25PM
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I had one of those Toyos once and it made some walnut+ sized fruits. I believe they are used in jelly for the pectin content, not for the flavor--that would come from the main fruit in the recipe.

The flowers had no aroma, neither do the fruiting quince trees.

The growth habit of the flowering quinces would be easy to espalier. The growth on mine was similar to gooseberry or currants.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2013 at 11:02PM
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Thanks for letting me know about the toyos. They are so beautiful, but I think I want something with larger fruit. The "victory" variety off of the one green world page is looking pretty good!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 8:31AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Flowering quince ie Chaenomeles certainly DOES produce fruit (at least the single flowered ones do). Many varieties produce fruit up to the size of a small apple. I have Crimson and Gold which makes fruit about the size of a large apricot. I make jelly out of it in some years.

The scent and flavour are similar to true quinces ie Cydonia. A few fruits added to the apples in a pie give it a special aroma.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 12:57PM
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Thanks for letting me know about "Crimson and Gold." My husband thought the flowers were pretty, so we may go with that one.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 12:43PM
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While in Italy, I was exposed to a quince tree and the fruit near Rome at the villa belonging to relatives. The owners grew the fruit to make a very tasty perserve similar to apple butter. I search US markets for a similar fruit tree and here are what I believe are the closest (if not the same varieties):

The CookeâÂÂs Jumbo Quince is a temptation because its fruit is a sweet tart treat well worth enjoying. The quince is a small, bushy cylindrical tree but strong like a mighty little oak. The fruit has a yellow-green skin and white flesh. Useful for candies, jellies and pie fillings. The fruit of the CookeâÂÂs Jumbo Quince ripens in September and October. Grows in zones: 5 - 9. Or,

This large bright-yellow fuzzy cousin of pears and apples is getting a boost from the Agricultural Research Service and making a come back. In Colonial times, many American orchards boasted at least one quince and vendors sold them along with pears and apples. Quince fruits are hard and sour when raw. When heated their flesh turns rosy, soft and sweet. An excellent variety for making tarts, pies, butters, marmalades and jellies. The fragrant aroma from the fruit of the jumbo quince has an appealing drawing to large wildlife. The fruit typically ripens in October through December. The quince is disease tolerant and cold hardy growing in zones 5-9.

Final choice and most likely candidate: The Smyrna Quince is the most popular quince used by famous chefs. Widely used for cooking in Europe, the quince is finding new attention now in America. The Smyrna is a large apple shaped quince with lemon yellow skin and excellent flavored tender flesh. This self-fertile fruit is highly perfumed and ripens September to October. (100 Chill Hours) Grows in zones: 5 - 9.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 1:47PM
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austransplant(MD 7)

Flowering quince, genus Chaenomeles, do set fruit, though the size varies from variety to variety. As floral uk says, they can produce sizeable fruit. My tree this year in MD produced plenty of fruit the size of small apples. I thinned the fruit early in spring, but to get decent sized fruit from apples and pears you also need to thin the fruit.

The fruit can be used in most ways Cydonia quince can be used; the posting before this one was concerned with Cydonia quince, not flowering quince. You can use both kinds of fruit to make jelly, quince past, quince liqueur, put it in pies etc.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Thank you both for all the information. I am thinking of espaliering fruit trees in another location, so I will keep the Smyrna quince in mind.

Austransplant--I am in Maryland, too. Do you know what cultivar you are growing? Chances are, if you have one that is doing well and lots of nice fruit, it would do well for me, too.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 8:30AM
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austransplant(MD 7)

I'm pretty sure it is a Toyo Nishiki.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 9:33AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Thanks for this thread as I always passed over flowering Quince, but I looked into them, and they are cool plants! Adding not only fruit in some cases but a lot or ornamental value. Being into edible landscapes this is a great group of plants for just that!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:04AM
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I once saw in a nursery, for sale in a 3-gallon pot, an ornamental quince that already had a fruit the size of a softball or slightly larger. I wish I could remember the selection.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 4:48PM
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jayco(5b NY)

My Toyo Nishiki produces good-sized fruit (medium-apple sized), now, after about 8 years in the ground from a tiny one. They are bright yellow and taste about the same as the other quinces I've eaten. The shrub makes gorgeous flowers, the bees go crazy, and it is very vigorous. I'd imagine mine would be difficult to espalier simply because it grows so rapidly.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 11:16AM
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My grandmother had several flowering quinces at her home - red/salmon colored flowers, I'm sure she had no idea what 'variety' they were - that fruited fairly well, regularly. I ate plenty of those hard, sour, little fruits. Most folks would probably have found them too tart to eat out-of-hand, even when they were fully yellow, but I liked them.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 12:41PM
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Be aware that flowering quince is well adapted to acid soil. I put down some sulfur under my two plants (my native pH=7.6) and so far I have not seen a lot of growth. They have a reputation for suckering and forming thick, thorny hedges eventually.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 1:08PM
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Jayco and Austransplant--thanks for telling me to look at Toyo Nishiki. It's the variety my husband finds handsomest, so maybe we will go with that one.

Has anyone had luck putting in some sort of underground barrier to keep them from suckering?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 3:01PM
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jayco(5b NY)

My Toyo Nishiki is kind of unstoppable. I'd be surprised if you could keep it from suckering. I would plan on a lot of pruning and give it space. By the way my soil is slightly alkaline (7.1) and it's clealy fine. I think quinces are pretty bulletproof. It's also nice that it flowers a bit earlier than my apple trees... I like to think the bees get pumped up by the quince and then stay for the apples. :)

However, if you're really into finding the best fruit I can't vouch for TN, as in truth I haven't eaten much quince, nor do I know how much fruit a "culinary" quince might produce. It is really pretty, though!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 3:25PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I first grew mine in a half whiskey barrel and now it is in the ground.A container may be an option.
The Toyo-Nishiki I have doesn't really have much of a fall display and though the blooms are beautiful,really didn't have a noticeable fragrance.
It will probably fruit better in the sun.
Also to note are the thorns.I wanted some more room at my place,so it was transplanted to where I work.Sometimes people will walk too close to it and get jabbed. Brady

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 10:34PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Just for interest here are, from left to right: Medlar, Large Russian; Apple, Golden Delicious (a runty windfall); Chaenomeles, Crimson and Gold.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2013 at 9:15AM
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Thank you so much for the picture! It is very useful. I regret not checking in on the thread for a while.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 9:59PM
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