Cydonia oblonga
Family: Rosaceae

Native to western Asia, the quince has been cultivated since antiquity and has long been naturalized in the Mediterranean region. It was a symbol of love, happiness and fertility in Greek and Roman times. This tree is grown for its fruit which is generally used to make jams, jellies and preserves, being virtually inedible raw. The common quince is a slow-growing, deciduous tree, to around 6 m (20 ft), with rather crooked branches, but it is an exquisite sight when the pale pink blossom appears in spring. This is followed by the hard, apple-like, deliciously smelling, greenish yellow fruit which is covered with a light brown felt. Recommended cultivars are 'Apple', 'Cooke's Jumbo', 'Pineapple' and 'Smyrna'.


This tree fruits best when the summers are long and hot. In cold climates, it is best grown against a warm, sheltered wall. It prefers fairly moist soil, provided the drainage is adequate. Propagate from long, hardwood cuttings, which tend to sucker, or from named varieties budded onto quince seedlings. Quince is often used as a dwarfing rootstock for fruit trees, especially the pear. Set out plants when they are one or two years old. Fruit bearing will begin in the second or third year. Hand-pick fruit with care when it is mature and well coloured, as it bruises easily. Prune in winter while the plant is dormant. Quinces grown against a wall can be fan trained and will then need annual pruning. The old, fruited side shoots are cut back to within three to four buds of the main framework branches. The fruits will then be produced on these 'spurs'. Quince is susceptible to a number of diseases, including fireblight, quince leaf blight, and mildew.


Zone 5.

Quercus      Quisqualis