Deciduous, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries
Native to western Asia, quince trees grow slowly to 10–25 ft. tall and wide, with gnarled, twisted branches that look attractive when leafless. Oval, 2–4-in. leaves are dark green above, whitish beneath; turn yellow in autumn. White or pale pink, 2-in. flowers are followed by 3–4-in., round to pear-shaped, deliciously fragrant yellow fruit. Typically too tart for fresh eating, the fruit is used for jams, jellies, or candy, or combined with other fruits in pies. Botanically, this is Cydonia oblonga; for the thorny shrubs grown mainly for flowers, see Chaenomeles.
These pear relatives need little winter chill to be productive and are self-pollinating.
‘Apple’ (‘Orange’). This variety is an old favorite. Round fruit with tender orange-yellow flesh.
‘Aromatnaya’. Round; sweet yellow flesh that tastes like pineapple. This variety can be thinly sliced and eaten fresh.
‘Cooke’s Jumbo’. Pear-shaped fruit with white flesh. Can be nearly twice the size of other quinces.
‘Pineapple’. Roundish, with tender white flesh that tastes like pineapple.
‘Smyrna’. Round to oblong fruit with white flesh; strongly aromatic.
Needs good drainage. Plant bare-root stock when available in late winter or spring, or plant container-grown stock anytime except in the hottest days of summer. Feed in late winter and early summer with 5-10-10 fertilizer; avoid high-nitrogen fertilizer, which promotes succulent growth susceptible to fireblight. Fruits on new growth; little pruning is required beyond initial shaping and periodic thinning to keep plant’s center open to sunlight. Avoid deep cultivation near trunk, which can cause shallow roots to sucker.
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