Spring has definitely arrived here in Palo Alto. The sun is shining, I can go for a walk outside in a light jacket, and everything is blooming.
I came across this plant in my neighborhood. My dad has the same bush at his house, planted up front by the mailbox.
It looks pretty inconspicuous most of the year, and I forget that it’s there….until it blooms in the spring. The blossoms are just so pretty!
This is the flowering quince, aka Chaenomeles (pronounced kee-NO-may-leez). Flowering quince is different from the common quince, Cydonia, which produces larger, edible apple-esque fruit. Chaenomeles is usually grown as an ornamental for its flowers, whereas Cydonia is grown for the fruit. The fruit of Chaenomeles is smaller and, although it is technically edible, it is not very tasty and is really only used for to make jelly or membrillo. I don’t think the Chaenomeles at my dad’s house produces fruit….either I’ve misidentified this plant, or he has one of the non-fruit producing varieties. Both Cydonia and Chaenomeles are in the Rosacea family, along with apples and roses.
Flowering quince blooms in late winter/early spring, similar to forsythia. Neither the flowering quince nor the forsythia in my dad’s yard were blooming last week, but I clipped some forsythia branches and brought them inside to force a bloom.
I completely forgot about the flowering quince! I’m making a mental note to clip some branches next winter/spring.
And how neat is this flowering quince for bonsai?
(Bonsai keeps coming up in these Foliage Fridays. I think it’s a sign that I need to finally try it out myself…I’m adding it to my garden goals list.)