Chaenomeles, the flowering quinces are easy care shrubs of nearly indestructible nature. They provide the garden with cheerful blooms in late winter, and dot the plant after the initial blooming from summer to fall. Ornamental roundish fruits follow if they blossoms are pollinated and they turn yellow when ripe in late fall. They are inedible unless cooked and are also fragrant when ripe.
These shrubs are of basic easy care, need little water when established (regular water when younger) and give colorful blossoms in whites, pinks, reds, orange tones, and yellow. There is even a very dark maroon black in the cv. ‘Kuro Koji’. These deciduous shrubs have artistic branch lines and will usually grow to form large bushes to 8+ feet tall and wider, but there are also dwarfer selections and a couple contorted stem forms. There are single and double flowering varieties. The cut branches make excellent material for the vase.
Full sun is best for flower production, fertile soil gives the best growth, but many plants thrive in more shady locations and poorer soil types. Can be pruned to shape as informal and impenetrable hedge, accents in shrub border, grouping, and make nice backround for beds of bulbs and annuals, perennials blooming in spring.
A brief listing of varieties:
Cameo (an old Japanese form which has been renamed has warm pink semidouble flowers on a smaller growing plant to perhaps 4+ ft.
Choju Bai is a small growing form with unique pale yellow single flowers.
Contorta has larger single flowers blushed pink (like apple blossoms) and twisted branches. A smaller grower.
Contorta orange is similar, but with orange flowers.
Falconet Charlot is a double salmon red of standard size.
Red Charlot is a redder form, also double.
Hime is a larger bush form with tiny, profuse red flowers. like firecrackers exploding all along the branches.
Iwai Nishiki is a large double red of quality.
Jet Trail is low growing with white single flowers.
Nivalis is a single white.
Oh Yashima is a double white.
Pink Lady is medium pink.
Texas Scarlet is lower growing and scarlet red.
Toyo Nishiki is unusual in that it can produce a wide variation in floral colors and patterns. Streaked, several petals one color, others a differing color; white, pink, red, colored flowers all along one branch are all some of the possible combinations of colors and there are more. Sometimes a bush will be almost one color singularly, and that is disappointing, so try to select your plant in bloom.