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Cydonia oblonga

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
8 metres tall
Hedgerows, roadsides, woodland.

Pink, 5 petals
The flowers are white, tinged pink. Up to 5cm in diameter. Pollinated by insects, in particular bees.
Roundish, yellow, pear-like fruit. The dimensions of the fruit when fully grown are 7 to 12cm long and 6 to 9cm wide. In fruit from September to November. The seeds ripen in November.
Simple, oblong, pointed and toothless leaves. Downy grey on the undersides. The leaves are alternately arranged along the stems.
Other Names:
Japanese Quince.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Cydonia oblonga, commonly known as the quince, is a species of flowering plant in the family Rosaceae. It is native to southwestern Asia and the Caucasus region, but it is also cultivated in other parts of the world for its fruit. The quince is a deciduous tree or shrub that can grow up to 5-8 meters tall, it has a roundish shape, with a dense crown and large, dark green leaves. The flowers are white, 5 petaled, and fragrant, they appear in spring before the leaves. The fruit is a large pome, similar to a small pear or large apple, it has a yellow or greenish-yellow skin and it is hard and not edible when raw, but it is used for making jams, jellies, and marmalades, and it is also used for making traditional beverages and for cooking. The quince is considered as a hardy and versatile plant, it can tolerate a wide range of soils and conditions, and it is tolerant of drought and frost. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It is also used as an ornamental plant, it is also used in traditional medicine, and it is also used as a food source for wild animals.


The quince tree, also known as Cydonia oblonga, is a fruit-bearing tree that is native to southwestern Asia, including parts of Iran, Turkey, and the Caucasus region. The tree has been cultivated for thousands of years for its fruit, which is highly prized for its unique flavor and aroma.

Appearance and Characteristics

The quince tree is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree that can grow up to 20 feet tall. It has a gnarled and twisted trunk, and its branches are often low-hanging and broad. The leaves of the quince tree are dark green and glossy, and they are oval or oblong in shape, with a slightly serrated edge. The tree produces beautiful pink or white flowers in the spring, which are followed by large, yellowish-green fruit that ripens in the fall.

The fruit of the quince tree is distinctive in both its appearance and flavor. It is large and irregularly shaped, and it has a tough, fuzzy skin that is inedible. The flesh of the fruit is firm and dense, with a floral fragrance and a tart, acidic flavor. Quinces are not commonly eaten raw, as they are quite hard and astringent, but they are often cooked or used to make jams, jellies, and other preserves.

Cultivation and Uses

Quince trees are relatively easy to cultivate and are hardy in a variety of climates. They prefer well-drained soil and full sun, but they can tolerate some shade and a range of soil types. Quince trees are often grown from seed or cuttings, and they typically bear fruit within three to five years.

The fruit of the quince tree is highly versatile and can be used in a variety of culinary applications. In many countries, quinces are used to make jams, jellies, and other preserves, which are often served with cheese or as a dessert topping. Quinces can also be poached, baked, or roasted, and they are a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. In addition to their culinary uses, quinces have also been used for medicinal purposes in some cultures, as they are believed to have astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.

The quince tree is a fascinating and unique fruit tree that has been cultivated for thousands of years. Its fruit is highly prized for its distinctive flavor and aroma, and it is used in a variety of culinary applications. If you are interested in growing your own quince tree, it is relatively easy to do so and can provide you with a bountiful harvest of delicious and versatile fruit.

More Information

The quince fruit is also known for its high levels of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that is commonly used in cooking as a thickening agent for jams, jellies, and other preserves. In fact, quinces are one of the highest natural sources of pectin, making them an ideal fruit for making jams and jellies that are firm and spreadable. The high pectin content also makes the quince fruit a good candidate for candying or making fruit leather.

The quince tree has also been used for its wood, which is hard and durable and has a pleasant scent. In some cultures, quince wood has been used for making furniture, musical instruments, and other decorative items. In addition, the quince tree is also valued as an ornamental tree, thanks to its beautiful flowers and distinctive fruit.

While the quince tree is not as well-known as other fruit trees, it is a fascinating and versatile plant that has played an important role in many cultures throughout history. Whether you are interested in growing quinces for their culinary, medicinal, or decorative uses, the quince tree is a worthwhile addition to any garden or orchard.

The quince tree has also been used in traditional medicine for its various health benefits. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and it has been used to treat a range of conditions, including diarrhea, coughs, and sore throats. The quince fruit is also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients, making it a healthy addition to any diet.

In addition to its health benefits, the quince fruit is also known for its unique flavor and aroma. Its tart, acidic flavor and floral fragrance make it a popular ingredient in many cuisines, particularly in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions. Quince jam and jelly are common condiments in these regions, often served with bread and cheese or used as a topping for desserts.

Another interesting fact about quince is that it is a member of the same family as apples and pears, the Rosaceae family. The quince fruit is similar in appearance to a pear, and the tree itself is closely related to apple and pear trees. In fact, the quince tree is often grafted onto pear rootstock in order to improve its disease resistance and productivity.

Despite its many benefits and uses, the quince tree is relatively rare in many parts of the world. However, there has been a growing interest in recent years in rediscovering this ancient fruit and reintroducing it to modern cuisine. With its unique flavor and many health benefits, the quince tree is a fascinating and valuable addition to any garden or orchard.

There are many different varieties of quince trees, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most popular varieties include 'Champion', which is known for its large, flavorful fruit, and 'Aromatnaya', which has a particularly strong fragrance. Other popular varieties include 'Pineapple', 'Smyrna', and 'Vranja'.

Quince trees can be grown in a variety of climates, but they prefer well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. They are relatively low-maintenance trees, but they can be susceptible to a range of pests and diseases, including fire blight, rust, and quince scab. Regular pruning and proper fertilization can help keep the tree healthy and productive.

In terms of culinary uses, quince can be used in a variety of ways. It can be cooked and eaten as a dessert fruit, used to make jams and jellies, or used to add flavor and complexity to savory dishes. Quince can also be used to make a refreshing and flavorful beverage called quince tea, which is made by steeping quince slices in hot water.

In conclusion, the quince tree, Cydonia oblonga, is a fascinating and versatile plant that has played an important role in many cultures throughout history. From its culinary and medicinal uses to its cultural and historical significance, the quince tree is a valuable addition to any garden or orchard. Whether you are interested in growing quince for its unique flavor and aroma, its many health benefits, or its ornamental value, the quince tree is a plant that is well worth exploring.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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