|Illustration by Abraham Jacobus Wendel, 1868|
Chaenomeles speciosa (commonly known as flowering quince, Chinese quince, or Japanese quince; in the context of in traditional Chinese medicine known as zhou pi mugua) is a thorny deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub native to eastern Asia. It is taller than another commonly cultivated species, C. japonica, usually growing to about 2 m (6 ft 7 in). The flowers are usually red, but may be white or pink. The fruit is a fragrant but hard pome that resembles a quince.
This plant is widely cultivated in temperate regions for its twining habit and its showy flowers which appear early in the season, occasionally even in midwinter. It is frequently used as an informal low hedge. Numerous cultivars with flowers in shades of white, pink and red have been selected. The following cultivars and hybrids have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:
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