The WALA Plant Library

Synonyms for Quince: None Known
Scientific Name: Cydonia oblonga
Family: Rosaceae


The quince, which grows as a shrub in the wild, is a small tree only about 3 to 4 m (9 to 12 feet) high. From May to June it produces large cup-shaped flowers which are white to delicate pink. The fruits, which weigh 300 to 500 g, are pear- or apple-shaped depending on the variety and are covered by a characteristic felty coating. This wipes off easily, revealing the wax-coated skin which emanates a sweet, fresh fragrance when rubbed. Although it has been cultivated by mankind for thousands of years quince has undergone little change as a result of selection and has thus largely retained the character of a wild fruit.

For cultivation a sheltered site should be chosen as the wood is sensitive to frost. The quince is generally free of pests and diseases. One exception is fire blight to which it is particularly susceptible. The ripe fruits are harvested from September to October. If the fruits are to be stored the best time to harvest is when the color begins to turn from green to yellow. Stored in a cool place without touching, the fruits remain fresh for up to 10 weeks.