April 20, 2011

Japanese Quince, Beautiful Flowering Shrub

I'd never heard of a quince, much less a Japanese Quince, but I was quickly educated after purchasing this property two years ago.

This is what was in the back yard when I moved in:

Naked Quince

Not a very impressive bunch of dried sticks but within a very short time, it morphed into this

Quince Starting to Bud

... so I didn't give up hope.

Once I saw this
Quince Blossoms

... I had to know what type of shrub those beautiful flowers came from.  My research tells me it is a Japanese Quince, a hardy shrub that tolerates most soil and sunlight conditions.  It's done well in my mostly clay soil, and survived both drought and flood conditions with no ill effects.

I first thought it might have been some sort of rose bush because it has thorns similar to a rose, but didn't find any relationship between the two.  The Japanese Quince is an early blooming shrub, one of the first things to pop in the spring, along with forsythia and daffodils.  It bears a small green fruit that is very bitter to taste, but apparently makes a wonderful jelly.  Two years ago I only saw one fruit, but last year there were quite a few. The fruit of the quince is smaller than an apple and quite hard. The chickens didn't even want to eat them.

My girls love to pull 'bug duty' around my quince, then rest in the dirt beneath it.  Catching bugs is hard work, you know.

Not quite in full bloom yet, this is what my Japanese Quince looks like this morning:

When fully flowered, it's a beautiful sight with a lovely punch of color.

I'm taking the A-Z Blogging Challenge, where I will post something from each letter of the alphabet on the corresponding day in April, except for Sunday, on (hopefully) all four of my blogs. You can see my other blogs in the sidebar - More of Marie Anne.


Stephanie V said...

Oh, try the fruits for jelly or jam...it's wonderful.
Our squirrels will pick up a quince with high hopes only to spit it out quickly. This tree seems to have no natural enemies and spreads herself generously around our garden.

Langley said...

Your quince is beautiful. It sounds like a good and hearty shrub.

I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

ladydragonfly said...

I love my Quince. They are beautiful when they are in full bloom.

Becky's Barnyard said...

I didn't know they were called Japanese Quince, I just always called them Flowering Quince. Yours is larger than any I have seen around here. Beautiful.

Tony Payne said...

Wow it looks really nice. I only had Quince Jelly once, it was an interesting taste.

Amy Brantley said...

Those are so beautiful and so are your lovely hens :)

Ilene said...

My grandma had a quince tree and made quince jelly every year. I remember the fruit looked like hard, bumpy apples. Grandma did not believe in wasting anything. She also made rugs out of rags. Anyway, I liked the quince jelly; it was sort of a combination of apples and pears.

A-Z Challenge, http://www.betterthanordinary.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's a cool shrub!

My A-Z Blogging “Q” post is right here: http://www.word-nerd-speaks.com/2011/04/quest-for-quiet-quickie.html

Pixiebaby said...

So pretty! I love quince :)

nutschell said...

what a beautiful shrub! i envy you your garden. :)
Great meeting you through the A-Z!


Anonymous said...

Although not so pretty, I have a few shrubs on the side of my garage (newly purchased house) that I believe are Japonese Quince shrubs. I started to make Quince paste and jam last fall. If I am right, what a treat!
I live in Massachusetts and wonder when to pick up the fruit. Not being much of a botanist, I wonder how to know what is in my new yard? Any good resources and advice are welcome.
Thank you,

Anonymous said...

The fruit does not ripen here in Nova Scotia, but I can tell you it does make wonderful jelly. Quince jelly is sweet/tart. Good on toast, with lamb and as a side for crackers and cheese too I suppose. We have been making it for many years from the bush my mom transplanted. That bush is now ten feet tall, and darn near as wide. Beautiful when flowering in the spring.