Cydonia oblonga
Common Name: quince
Type: Fruit
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Western Asia
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 12.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 9.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Pale pink to white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Fruit: Showy, Edible

Culture

Easily grown in acidic, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best flowering occurs in full sun. Adapts to a wide range of soil conditions, but prefers well-drained loams. Established plants tolerate some dry soils. Plants bloom on new growth. Pruning is typically done in winter. Easily propagated from hardwood or softwood cuttings. Suckers when young and must be trained as a tree or it will spread to form a thicket. Promptly remove root suckers to control possible spread. Best fruits are produced in areas with long hot summers. Pick fruit before first fall frost. Where winter temperatures dip below 5 degrees F., this quince may be fan-trained against a wall.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cydonia oblonga, commonly known as common quince, is a deciduous, multi-stemmed small tree or large shrub that features crooked branches clad with broad-ovate to broad-elliptic pale green leaves (to 4" long) that are gray-hairy below. Common quince is primarily grown today for fruit production or as a dwarfing pear rootstock. It is native to rocky slopes and woodland margins in the Trans-Caucasus region which includes Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, southwestern Russia and Turkmenistan. Plants have escaped garden plantings in the U. S. (particularly in the northeast), but plants are generally not considered to be invasive. Commercial production in the U. S. is very limited (mostly in California and New York). Common quince typically grows to 10-15' (less frequently to 20') tall. Solitary, five-petaled, pale pink to white flowers (2 1/2" diameter) bloom from leaf axils in late spring (May) on current season's growth. Immature fruits (round to pear shaped quinces to 3" diameter) are green with gray-white shading but mature in fall to bright yellow. Fruit on cultivated varieties is usually larger. In climates with warm winters, quinces will fully ripen on the tree/shrub and can be enjoyed fresh-picked. However, in many areas where grown in the U. S., quince fruits are still very astringent in October when they first begin to ripen, hence they are usually cooked rather than consumed fresh. Quinces may be used in jellies, preserves and pies.

Cultivars include 'Champion', 'Pineapple', 'Portugal' and 'Smyrna'.

Genus name is derived from the town of Cydon (now Khania) in Crete.

Specific epithet means oblong.

Problems

Fireblight. Leaf and fruit spots. Powdery mildew and rust.

Garden Uses

Small quince trees or shrubs make attractive specimens in the landscape. Shrubs may be grown as hedges. Fruit may be harvested.