Kew today - ornamental quince
Perfect to train against a partly shaded wall, this beautiful plant is bursting into rich red flower.
11 Mar 2010
Ornamental quince, Chaenomeles x superba (Image: RBG Kew)
A cross between the vigorous Chinese flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) and the lavish flowering Japanese quince (C. japonica), the ornamental quince (Chaenomeles x superba 'Crimson and Gold') brings a welcome burst of flower in late February to early March. The bare twigs are smothered in striking cup shaped bright red flowers with yellow centres, which are followed by glossy dark green leaves and fragrant, greenish yellow fruits. This tough and hardy shrub grows wider than it is tall, which makes it perfect for wall training. It prefers full sun, but is happy in partial shade and this compact variety is perfect for the smaller garden.
The autumn fruits are very sour and are inedible when eaten raw, but when cooked and sweetened they are delicious. They are rich in Vitamin C, and their antioxidant levels are nearly as concentrated as rosehips. A good specimen is planted in the Winter Garden, near the Ice House.
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