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Chaenomeles speciosa
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

Japanese quince

A vigorous, wide-spreading deciduous shrub about 2.5m tall, with tangled, spiny branches and glossy, oval, dark green leaves. In spring it bears small clusters of crimson to scarlet red, bowl-shaped flowers 4cm across, followed by aromatic green-yellow fruit resembling small apples. These can be used to make jams and jellies but please see notes on toxicity for further advice

Synonyms
Chaenomeles lagenaria
Cydonia speciosa

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green Green Yellow
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Rosaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Seeds contain toxins so these should be removed if you are considering eating the fruit, usually grown as an ornamental shrub
Genus

Chaenomeles are deciduous, usually spiny shrubs with simple leaves and cup-shaped, 5-petalled flowers, solitary or clustered, in spring, followed by edible often fragrant green or yellow fruits

Name status

Correct

Plant range
China

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in full sun or part shade in well-drained soil, lime tolerant but may become chlorotic on very alkaline soils

Propagation

Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in summer or layering in autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Climber and wall shrubs
  • Hedging and screens
  • Wall side borders
  • Edible fruit
Pruning

Pruning group 2, or pruning group 13 if wall-trained

Pests

May be susceptible to scale insects, brown scale and aphids

Diseases

May be susceptible to fireblight, blossom wilt, brown rot and honey fungus (rarely)

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