Chaenomeles × superba 'Jet Trail'
Common Name: flowering quince 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: March
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Fruit: Edible
Other: Thorns
Tolerate: Drought, Clay Soil


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil 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 will tolerate dryish soils. Plants bloom on old growth. Avoid heavy pruning. Prune to shape as needed in spring after flowering to stimulate growth of flowering spurs which will improve bloom for the following year (although such pruning will reduce fruit production for the current year). Promptly remove root suckers to control possible spread.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Chaenomeles × superba is a hybrid flowering quince resulting from the cross between C. japonica and C. speciosa. It is a dense, broad-rounded, deciduous shrub with often-tangled, spiny-tipped twigs. It typically grows to 3-4’ tall and to 4-5’ wide. Flowers (to 2” diameter) bloom, often in profusion, before the leaves fully unfold in an early spring bloom. Flowers are followed by hard, yellowish-green fruits (2.5” quinces) that may acquire red tinges as they mature in autumn. Quinces are edible, but usually are considered too bitter to be eaten directly from the shrub. Quinces are sometimes used in preserves and jellies. Oval to oblong, glossy dark green leaves (to 3.5” long). No fall color.

Genus name comes from the Greek words chaino meaning to gape and melon meaning an apple in the incorrect belief that the fruits split open.

Specific epithet means superb.

'Jet Trail' typically grows only to 2-4' tall. It is a dense, twiggy, spiny, deciduous shrub noted for its pure white, early spring flowers and its compact, broad-spreading habit. Five-petaled white flowers (1.5" diameter) appear in small clusters mostly before the foliage emerges in an extremely showy early spring bloom. 'Jet Trail' is a sport of C. x superba 'Texas Scarlet'.


Susceptible to fungal leaf spot (particularly in years with heavy spring rainfall) which can cause considerable leaf defoliation. Fireblight and scab can be problems in some areas. Aphids can cause significant damage to new growth. Lesser pests include scale and mites. Chlorosis (yellowing of foliage) will occur in high pH soils. Flower buds are susceptible to significant damage from early spring frosts.


Hedge, screen, barrier. Specimen or group in shrub border or cottage garden. Branches may be clipped and forced for winter bloom.