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CHAENOMELES speciosa 'Alba'

Image of Chaenomeles speciosa 'Alba'

James Burghardt

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

CHAENOMELES speciosa 'Alba'

Plant Common Name

Flowering Quince, White Flowering Quince

General Description

When in bloom this Chinese shrub is a beauty, but through the rest of the season it has a coarse, rambling, ungainly look. Flowering quince is a spiny, medium-sized, deciduous shrub. This cultivar is most noted for its clusters of clear white, bowl-shaped flowers that cover the plant in early spring, both before and after the foliage emerges. These are followed by small quince fruits that are edible and best eaten cooked into preserves or jelly.

The glossy, oval leaves of this hardy shrub are deep green and have small teeth along the edges. The branches are armed with long thorns that are strong and can cause painful scratches. Pretty rosaceous blooms of white are produced in spring, and fragrant, yellow-green, apple-shaped fruits ripen in the fall but offer no visual appeal.

The tough and adaptable flowering quince accepts a wide range of growing conditions but grows best in full sun and well-drained loam. Periods of winter cold are needed for good flowering and fruit set. Spring buds are often damaged by cold in its northernmost zones. This informal landscape shrub combines well with other early-bloomers, such as forsythias and early bulbs, and its cut branches can be forced into bloom in late winter.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m

  • Width

    4'-15' / 1.2m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Green, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No