BRUNS Plant of the month – March

Chaenomeles x superba- Hybrids –cultivated form of the flowering quince

Get in the mood for spring...

The cultivated form of the flowering quince gets everyone in the mood for spring, timidly displaying its first flower buds in March and promising a rich play of colours. The cultivated form of the flowering quince are cultivated varieties for which the different Chaenomeles species and varieties were crossed. Chaenomeles have been cultivated in Europe since the late 18th century as ornamental shrubs. The small shrub has bushy to broadly upright growth and is truly impressive with its brilliant, dark green foliage.

In addition to established and well-known species such as the delicate pink flowering Chaenomeles ‘Pink Lady’ 'and the vermilion blooming ‘Carl Ramcke' as well as the pure white flowering variety ‘Nivalis’ the double flowered flowering quince new cultivated varieties from the ‘Double Take' series from the USA are all bound to create for excitement in future. Striking, very large flowers reminiscent of camellias in the new varieties of ‘Pink Storm’®, ‘Orange Storm'® and ‘Scarlet Storm’® from the cultivating programme of Dr. Thomas Ramney in North Carolina provide a fury of colours in pink, orange and red and are on display April in abundance on a first-year thornless wood. What makes them more special: the new arrivals with an Asian flair are protected varieties which contrary to the commercial varieties currently available, bear no fruit. Unauthorised reproduction is prohibited! Plant variety rights 20142460/20141988/20142459 have been registered.

In addition to the exquisite flowering properties, the flowering quince is also known for its wide range of uses. In addition to their fantastic ornamental value, the abundance of flowers are used by honey and bumble bees as early sources of food. In floristry, the flowering quince is cherished as driftwood and good "cut flower". Aside from their proven use in springlike flowering hedges, planting in the foreground, landscaping or groundcover in herbaceous borders, the vitamin-rich fruits give off a pleasing fragrance. The fruit of the flowering quince is edible and can be used to make jelly and jam. The fruit is even used as an accompaniment as mixed fruit in jams, for liqueur wines and bread spread with quince jelly. The vitamin C content of quince exceeds the lemon by far. Fruits harvested before the frost season have long shelf life. The fruits are also excellent for decorative purposes or suitable for including in flower arrangements.

The self-pollinating, perfectly hardy shrubs are a true gem in any garden with its flowerage and vitamin-rich fruit. Chaenomeles is hary and tolerates pruning. The flowering quince loves sunny areas yet can also cope well in partial shade.

It is very undemanding in terms of soil which just shouldn’t be too calcareous.