What is the plant
Chaenomeles japonica, commonly called Japanese quince, is a low-growing, densely-branched, deciduous shrub with spiny, often-tangled, gray-brown twigs. It typically grows to 3’ tall but spreads to 6' wide. Five-petaled, orange-scarlet flowers (to 1.5” across) with creamy white stamens bloom before the leaves unfold in an often showy early spring floral display. Flowers are followed by hard, greenish-yellow fruits (1.5” pomes that are commonly called quinces) which ripen in early autumn. Ripe quinces are fragrant. Quinces are edible, but usually are considered too bitter to be eaten directly from the shrub. Quinces are sometimes used to make preserves and jellies. Coarsely-toothed, broad-oval, green leaves (to 2” long). No appreciable fall color.
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