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Quince — all useful properties. Overview of species, recommendations for care and planting (130 photos)

Despite all the richness of the Russian language, for some reason there were no two different words in it to designate two genera of the same rosaceae family. And now it is equally called both the ordinary quince (oblong) – the only representative of the genus Cydonia, and the Japanese quince of the genus Henomeles. It turns out a little confusion, which, however, is easy to understand from the descriptions and photos of quince varieties.

The Latin name of the genus Cydonia comes from the name of the ancient Greek city of Cydonia (Cydon), which was located on the northwest coast of Crete, on the territory of the current port city of Chania.

Trojan War: is Eris and Quince to blame for everything?

Ask any more or less educated person, and he will tell you that the reason for the beginning of the Trojan War was the unseemly act of Paris, who kidnapped Helen, the wife of King Menelaus.

In fact, the story began much earlier. From the moment when they didn't want to invite Erida, the goddess of discord, to one wedding. Angry and insulted, she appeared uninvited, left her little gift on the table and left.

The gods saw a golden fruit with the inscription "The most Beautiful". Each of the three goddesses — Venus, Minerva and Juno – of course, believed that the title of "the most beautiful" should rightfully belong to her. Paris was asked to resolve the dispute (all the other guests wisely refused, fearing the wrath of the losing beauties).

Minerva and Juno promised the young man power, courage, military victories, knowledge and wisdom. And Venus is the possession of the most beautiful woman in the world. The prize went to Venus, Paris was rewarded with Elena. And the apple of discord, as botanists believe, and historians do not contradict them, was not an apple at all, but a quince — the most common, tough and inedible!

Botanical characteristics

A small tree, often in the form of a shrub, from one and a half meters to five, rarely up to 8 m. Branches growing obliquely upwards do not have thorns, young shoots are pubescent, greenish-olive or brown in color.

The leaves are no longer than 10-12 cm, more often oval, less often rounded; the upper side of the leaf blade is bare, dark green in color, the lower side is grayish, felt-pubescent. The petiole is pubescent, up to 2 cm long. Single flowers are white or pale pink, up to 5 cm in diameter — very spectacular, with a wonderful smell.

The tree is literally strewn with flowers in late spring and early summer, for 10-13 days, and this is an unforgettable sight. It is also no less attractive in autumn, when its main decoration is large yellow "apples" covered with soft felt pubescence (ripe fruits become smooth and hard, with hard and slightly tender flesh).


The species consists of five varieties, two of them decorative:

  • pyramidal (f. pyramidalis) is a characteristic feature of the crown
  • marble (f. marmorate) – with yellow- and white-variegated leaves

And three groups according to the shape of the fruits:

  • apple-shaped (f. maliformis)
  • pear-shaped (f. pyriformis)
  • portuguese, ribbed pear-shaped (f. lusitanica)

In culture since time immemorial. There are more than 400 varieties of garden quince in the world, of which only a tenth is grown on the territory of Russia and neighboring countries. Of the traditionally cultivated in the Caucasus and Transcaucasia, for example, Scythian Gold, Muscat, Aurora, Vraniska Denmark, are included in the State Register, popular local ones are Atbashi, Jardash, Mergin large-fruited, Ordubad and others.

In the Lower Volga region, the old French variety Angerskaya is grown, as well as some other varieties: Collective, Krasnoslobodskaya, Teplovskaya, Maslyanka late and early.

Varieties bred in Central Asia are superior to Caucasian in taste, but inferior in size and weight of fruits. In a temperate climate, Michurinskaya quince has become widespread, and especially for cultivation in the Central Region in 1998, Moscow Susova quince was bred – small-fruited, but unusually fragrant.

Of the other economically valuable qualities of this variety, high winter hardiness, resistance to diseases and pests, annual abundant fruiting can be noted.

Boarding and care

The plant is of southern origin, so almost all varieties are light-loving and insufficiently frost-resistant. The place in the garden is selected exclusively sunny, not blown by the winds. Quince is not demanding of soils, it is able to put up with even minor salinization, although it prefers fertile and constantly moist soil. With strong fluctuations in humidity, fruits can crack.

The highest yield is demonstrated on heavy loamy soil, but on sandy soil it enters fruiting earlier. On dry soils it forms smaller and drier fruits, on wet ones – large and juicy, but the taste is astringent and woody.

Plant care consists, perhaps, of only two important activities: watering in dry summers, especially on sandy loam soils, and timely and correct pruning. The latter consists in annual sanitary pruning, when broken, diseased and thickening branches are cut out; in light rejuvenating pruning once every 3 years in adult trees, and strong rejuvenating – old, weakly fruiting trees.

Varietal quince is propagated vegetatively, in all possible ways (grafting, layering, root growth, cuttings with green or lignified cuttings).

Seed propagation is used only in two cases: to obtain rootstock and for the purpose of acclimatization of quince in areas with a colder climate. In the south, strong wild quince are a good stock for Japanese medlar and pears, especially the Angersk variety.

Crop processing

Large, beautiful and fragrant quince fruits in their raw form are practically not suitable for food. Therefore, most of the harvest is put into processing. In addition to traditional compotes, jams, marmalade, jams and jam, quince serves as an excellent raw material for obtaining a very healthy and delicious juice.

Quince juice becomes tastier in combination with other fruit juices (apple, peach, banana), or mixed with pumpkin. It is good both fresh and canned.

But this is not limited to the use of quince fruits in cooking. It can be used to make savory sauces for meat dishes and poultry meat. In stewed or baked form, quince is added to casserole, pilaf, porridge.

Finally, fully ripe fruits of some nutmeg varieties can also be used raw – you only need to know when to pick quince, so as not to rip off the unripe fruits. Raw quince, cut into slices, is added to tea to enrich its taste and aroma: it's even better than lemon tea!

Japanese quince (Japanese Henomeles)- Chaenomeles japonica

The name of the genus was due to the previously erroneous idea that the fruit of the genomeles splits into five parts: in Greek, “chainein” — split and “meles" – apple.

Botanical characteristics

The homeland is Japan, it is also widespread in China and Europe. A low shrub usually up to 3 m, very prickly. The crown is densely leafy, dense. Leaves at a young age are bronze or red in hue, with age they become dark green; dense and leathery, 3-5 cm long. The flowers are 3-4 cm in diameter, from pink to orange-red, in corymbs consisting of 2-6 flowers.

In the Middle zone, the duration of flowering is 3-4 weeks. It begins to bear fruit from the age of 3-4. The fruit is an apple, bright yellow in color, in the shape of a ball or egg. The fruits look very impressive against the background of dark green foliage. The bush is equally beautiful both during flowering and fruiting.

A species often found in gardens is low Japanese quince (henomeles Maulea): a spreading shrub no more than a meter high, with arched, very prickly shoots. This is the most winter-hardy representative of the genus. There are decorative varieties (Diamond, Vesuvius, Hollandia, Nivalis, Nicoline) and several garden forms.

Boarding and care

Growing Japanese quince does not present any difficulties. The plant is light-loving, prefers soils rich in organic matter, fertile. It is resistant to drought, but in hot dry summers it needs watering. It grows slowly.

The shrub can be cut – while flowering and fruiting are preserved, so it is good for creating hedges. It is able to survive, grow and bloom beautifully in the conditions of the city.

There are many decorative garden forms. But it is difficult to find them on sale. Therefore, most often in gardens you can find non-varietal seedlings. Moreover, this species is easily propagated by seeds that are sown in winter or spring, after 3-4 months of stratification in the refrigerator.

It also reproduces well in all other ways: layering, green cuttings, root offspring. The purpose is mainly decorative, although the fruits are edible and can be used for culinary processing.

If this wonderful, beautiful and useful plant is not growing in your garden yet, it's time to think about planting it!

Photo of quince