Quarryhill Botanical Garden

Advancing the Conservation, Study, and Cultivation of the Flora of Asia

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Featured Plants

Chaenomoles japonica

The Japanese Flowering Quince is truly sensational: a visual wonder with branches wreathed in spring color and pungently aromatic in the fall, its spicy fruit well-suited for jams and conserves.  It is native to sunny locations on hills and mountains in warm to cool temperate zones on the Japanese islands of Honshu and Kyushu. 

A dense, low deciduous shrub with both ascending and sprawling, spiny, well-branched stems, 30-100 cm in height, and wider spread.  Leaves are alternate, serrated, and ovate to obovate in shape, 2-5 cm long, falling unusually early amidst the growing season.  Flower appear in clusters, concurrently with new leaves, in April and May, are hermaphroditic or staminate (male), and measure 2.5-3 cm across.  Cupped, spreading petals are orbicular to widely obovate in shape with rounded apices.  Pome fruits are very fragrant, globose and glabrous (smooth surfaced), yellow to greenish yellow and 3-4 cm in diameter.  Their pulp is rather hard, of a whitish-yellow color and quite acidic.  The ovoid, mucilaginous seeds are dark brown.

Relatively easy to grow, Japanese Flowering Quince is happy in full sun to part shade, enduring most well-drained, friable soils, and accepting considerable pruning directly after flowering.