Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Quince, Fruiting Quince
Cydonia oblonga

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cydonia (sigh-DOH-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: oblonga (ob-LON-guh) (Info)

Synonym:Cydonia vulgaris

19 members have or want this plant for trade.


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 17 photos.
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4 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive BajaBlue On Oct 17, 2013, BajaBlue from Rancho Santa Rita, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

When prepared correctly, the products of this fruit are delicious.

It is NOT tasty raw, and is not intended to be eaten
raw !

Neutral purplesun On Oct 16, 2009, purplesun from Krapets
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

I don't really get why people grow this tree. We've got several of them, and they are of no use. The fruit is hard to process, though it does make a delicious preserve. Otherwise, not of great interest.
The fruit have to be picked by hand, or else anything growing underneath will get smashed by the falling quinces. Really, an orchard tree.

Positive OhioBreezy On Oct 8, 2006, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Quince Jelly

4 cups juice
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
pat of butter (for no foam)

bring to a full rolling boil. Stir, turn down heat and let simmer about 30 minutes with a soft rolling boil. Color will turn a beautiful pinky red, it will start to set up along sides of your kettle, skim off foam, pour into hot jars, cap, invert jar 5 minutes, after 5 minutes turn jar upright and they will start sealing.

some of the BEST jelly ever!

Positive philomel On Oct 16, 2004, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

We inherited a couple of Quince trees when we moved to France. They are grown a lot here in Gascony and I've seen them in the Dordogne and Auvergne as well.
They are certainly handsome trees and the fruit is very attractive too, being very furry in the early stages.

Here are some traditional recipes:

Here is the easiest country method of making thick quince paste.
Rub the quinces with a cloth to remove the down. Put them,
whole and unpeeled, into a big, tall earthenware crock or jar,
without any water. Leave them, covered, in a low oven until they are soft but not breaking up. When they are cool enough to handle, slice them, without peeling them, into a bowl, discarding the cores and any bruised or hard pieces. Put the sliced fruit through the food mill. Weigh it. Add an equal quantity of white sugar. Boil in a preserving pan, stirring nearly all the time until the paste begins to candy and come away from the bottom as well as the sides of the pan. Take care to use a long-handled wooden spoon for stirring, and to wrap your hand in a cloth for the boiling paste erupts and spits. Continue stirring after the heat has been turned off until boiling has ceased. With a big soup ladle, fill shallow rectangular earthenware or tin dishes with the
paste. Leave to get quite cold. Next day put these moulds into the lowest possible oven of a solid fuel cooker, or into the plate drawer of a gas or electric stove, while the oven is on for several hours, until the paste has dried out and is quite firm. Turn out the slabs of paste, wrap them in greaseproof paper or foil, and store them in tins in a dry larder.
This paste is cut into squares or lozenges to serve as a dessert or as a sweetmeat for the children.
If you have no suitable utensil for the initial cooking of the
fruit in the oven, it can be softened in a steamer over a big
saucepan of boiling water.

Peel, core and slice 4 Ib of quinces. Put them into a preserving pan with water not quite covering them. Bring them to the boil and cook for 30 minutes. Strain them through a muslin, pressing them so as to extract as much juice as possible.
In the juice cook another 3 Ib of quinces, peeled, sliced and
cored, and 1 Ib of oranges, skinned and quartered, with the pips removed. Simmer for 1 hour, and put the mixture through a sieve, so as to obtain a thick puree; weigh the puree, add an
equal quantity of sugar, return to the pan and cook until the
mixture begins to come away from the sides.
The cotignac can be stored in jars or tins.
Excellent eaten with soft cream cheese.

It was from marmelo, the Portuguese name for quince, that the word marmalade came into the French and the English languages
There are as many different recipes for quince marmalade as there are for orange marmalade. The theory is always much the same; the skin and the pips are used to make a foundation syrup which will jelly, and in which the sliced fruit is cooked
The following recipe makes a very richly flavoured preserve for my taste a good deal superior to orange marmalade

Rub the whole fruit with a cloth to remove the down; put it in
a preserving pan and cover completely with cold water. Simmer until the fruit is soft enough to pierce with a thin skewer; don't let it cook until the skins break. Extract the fruit, and when cool enough to handle, peel, slice, and core it. Return the cores and the skins to the same water in which the fruit has cooked, and boil until reduced by about a third, when the juice will have just begun to take on the characteristic cornelian colour of quince jelly.
Strain this through a cloth. Weigh the sliced fruit; add its
equivalent in white sugar. Put the sugar and fruit, together with
the strained juice, back into the preserving pan and boil gently
until the fruit is soft and translucent and the juice sets to jelly. The best way of ascertaining that the juice will set is to watch until it starts coating the back of the spoon, and slides off with a gentle plop when the spoon is shaken. Skim off any scum that has risen to the surface before turning off the flame. Put into warmed jam jars, cover with a round of paper dipped in brandy, and tie down when cool.

Positive angelam On Apr 13, 2004, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

I think this is a much underrated tree. It is a good small size.The blossom is beautiful, opening from pink to white. The foliage is handsome being a fresh green (although with us it does seem more prone than its relations to cherry slug). And the fruit is delicious and not prone to bird damage.
The fruit has to be cooked, but for nowhere near as long as most cookbooks seem to say. Most reccommend 2 hrs.
I find 20-30mins plenty. Long cooking does however cause the fruit to develop a very attractive deep red colour, which won't occur in the shorter time.
We grow the variety ''Champion'' and I'd happily add other varieties to the garden.

Neutral Terry On Aug 30, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Fruiting Quince is often overlooked in favor of flowering quince, which is unfortunate, since C. oblonga has thornless branches, edible fruit, provides winter interest with gnarled branches and blooms in the spring.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clovis, California
Orlando, Florida
Columbia City, Indiana
Pearl River, Louisiana
Belchertown, Massachusetts
Helena, Montana
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Thornville, Ohio
Salem, Oregon
Greenville, South Carolina
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington

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