Brightly colored flowers in late March and early April welcome spring with great fanfare—an indispensable source of color in the early spring garden. Branches can also be cut and easily forced in late winter. The tart apple-like fruits make a fine jelly or can simply be microwaved with a bit of sugar for a breakfast treat. Each spring all but 2-3 inches of the non-blooming tip growth should be pruned away to better display the flowers and to maintain a good form. Best planted in full sun, the generally thorny shrubs can also be used as an effective barrier. Zones 5-8 except as noted
Chaenomeles japonica var. alpina - Dwarf Flowering Quince
Bright orange-red flowers in early spring with some repeat later in the season on a dwarf 2-foot shrub that is extra hardy. To us, the color and the form of the flowers somehow capture the elegance and simplicity of Japanese flower arrangements. Yellow fruits resembling small apples are attractive in autumn. Z. 4-8
Chaenomeles speciosa 'Cameo' - Flowering Quince
Showstopping double salmon-colored flowers on a dense, nearly thornless shrub to 4-5 feet. Everyone's favorite! Z. 5-8
Chaenomeles speciosa 'Chojuraku' - Flowering Quince
Recently introduced from Japan, 'Chojuraku' sports double salmon-orange flowers in early spring. Grows to about 3-4 feet high and wide.
Chaenomeles speciosa 'Iwai Nishiki' - Flowering Quince
A low-spreading shrub 1-2 feet high and as much as 10 feet across, 'Iwai Nishiki' bears double red camellia-like flowers. A nice touch at the front of a border.
Plants measure about 30x30 in.
Chaenomeles speciosa - Storm Series Flowering Quince
A few years ago Dr. Tom Ranney and his team at NCSU were examining the old-fashioned Flowering Quince with its countless cultivars. Dr. Ranney posed the question: "So, is this genus tapped out? Are there new opportunities for breeding improved Flowering Quinces?" Well, we know what the answer is going to be! They started with an old cultivar, 'Dragon's Blood', and, in Dr. Ranney's words: "This impressive plant has a number of desirable traits. The flower color is a dark red (like Dragon's Blood), the stems are thornless, and the flowers are heavy doubles that look amazingly like miniature roses. As we were just starting a breeding program at the time, we couldn't resist moving some pollen around with the hopes of developing new Flowering Quinces with a range of flower colors, thornless stems, and high petal counts. We were pleasantly surprised at the results and are pleased to introduce three new Flowering Quinces - the likes of which are unlike what you might know as Flowering Quinces." Care is the same as for regular Flowering Quinces: full sun and well-drained soil. Please join with us in trialing these exciting new introductions.
Chaenomeles speciosa 'Orange Storm' - Flowering Quince
From Dr. Tom Ranney and his team at NCSU comes a new kind of Flowering Quince, the "Storm" series. They have extra-large double flowers, as much as 2 inches across and more. They're also thornless and grow into multi-stemmed shrubs with a mature height of about 6 feet. Dr. Ranney says that flowers of 'Orange Storm' are like orange petticoats with 31-49 frilly petals per flower.
Chaenomeles speciosa 'Pink Storm' - Flowering Quince
Large, 2-inch double flowers have 29-40 pink petals per flower. Flowers resemble sweetheart roses.
Chaenomeles speciosa 'Scarlet Storm' - Flowering Quince
Large 2 to 2.5-inch double flowers are scarlet red and have 17 to 25 petals per flower. Dr. Ranney reports that 'Scarlet Storm' tends to have flowers out to the tips of its branches, unlike many Flowering Quinces, which bloom more heavily in the interior of the shrub.