Japanese Quince (Japonica)
Hardy deciduous shrub native to Japan, related to both true quinces and Chinese Quinces and often simply known as a Flowering Quince. However, small edible apple-shaped fruit 3–4 cm in diameter follow these flowers, which are usually red, but can be white or pink (our plants are seed grown so the colour of the flowers cannot be guaranteed). The fruit are not really edible raw but can be used just like quinces - processed into paste (or fruit 'cheese'), liqueurs, jam and preserves etc on their own or mixed with other fruit. They contain more pectin than apples and true quinces, so can be used to aid setting of low pectin fruit. The pectin also has medicinal qualities - the fruit have long been a traditional Asian remedy for coughs and sore throats, helping soothe hoarseness and inflammation. The fruit also contains more vitamin C than lemons (up to 150 mg/100 g), and is sometimes known as a Baltic Lemon. If left on the trees during frosts the fruit will go soft and can be sqeezed out like lemons. These shrubs are tolerant of a wide range of soil types, including poor soil, and cold exposed sites. They are also happy in full sun, part shade or shade, which makes them a useful component of a food forest shrub layer (note that fruiting will be reduced in shade however). The plants are self-fertile and extremely ornamental. They are great bee plants, flowering very early in the year and providing an excellent source of pollen and nectar. The branches have a tendency to be spiny - utlise this property by planting underneath a window to deter burglars! Height 1m, spread 2m.
PB8 $22 Certified organic plant