Temperate Climate Permaculture: Permaculture Plants: Quince Tree

Temperate Climate Permaculture: Permaculture Plants: Quince Tree

The quince – an virtually forgotten fruit.

Widespread Identify: Quince

Scientific Identify: Cydonia oblonga

Household: Rosaceae

Slicing a quince will be powerful – use a pointy knife and watch out.


This historic relative to the apple resembles yellowed, giant, lumpy, extra pear-shaped, and barely fuzzy apples.  The perfume of some ripe quinces can fill a room with an intoxicatingly candy aroma.  These are small bushes or giant shrubs which might be handled very similar to apples in cultivation.  At the very least as soon as within the late autumn or early winter, I’ll make an apple-quince pie with currants, and it’s considered one of my favourite vacation desserts.  The scent within the kitchen when I’ve the quince poaching in candy wine with vanilla beans is heavenly.  I can’t wait to develop my very own quinces, as a result of I can’t at all times discover them in grocery shops.  Fortuitously, they’ll keep contemporary within the fridge for over a month, so I seize them after I see them.

Portray of a quince – Pancrace Bessa (1772-1835)

Historical past:

The Quince Tree is native to the central and japanese Center East.  The cultivation of the quince possible preceded that of the apple, however it’s troublesome to establish.  Early writings which referred to the “apple” had been possible referring to the quince as an alternative.  The town-state of Kydonia on the island of Crete was the place the quince was improved to the extent we all know as we speak.  The scientific title of the quince is Cydonia and is an alternate spelling of Kydonia.


  • True Quince (C. oblonga) shouldn’t be confused with “Flowering Quince” (Chaenomeles japonica) or the “Chinese language Quince” (Pseudocydonia sinensis) that are extra decorative.
  • Some imagine the “forbidden fruit” within the Backyard of Eden was a quince
  • The Quince is related to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of affection.
  • The Quince is called the “fruit of affection, marriage, and fertility”.
  • The Quince was given as a present to the bride to sweeten her breath earlier than getting into the bridal chamber.
  • The Quince is probably going the “apple” within the Music of Solomon and the “golden apple” that Paris awarded Aphrodite.
  • The phrase “marmalade” initially meant a quince jam and is derived from the Portuguese phrase “marmelo” – the Portuguese phrase for quince.
  • Quince will change colour from pale yellow to gentle pink and even deep purple when cooked.
  • Turkey produces one quarter of the world’s quinces.

The “fuzz” is extra obvious on some varieties than others.


Main Makes use of:

  • Contemporary consuming – solely sure varieties.  Most have to be cooked first to eliminate the astrigency
  • Poached
  • Baked Items
  • Preserves, Jams, Jellies (welcome addition of taste and aroma when blended with different fruits; naturally excessive in pectin)
  • Stewed with meats particularly lamb, duck, and turkey
  • Teas
  • Wine, Cider

Secondary Makes use of:

  • Normal insect (particularly bees) nectar plant
  • Specimen plant – lovely, aromatic blossoms and older vegetation develop gnarled trunks
  • As a result of intense perfume, quince can be utilized as a room deodorizer 
  • Quince leaves comprise excessive ranges of tannin and can be utilized for tanning
  • Quince are commonly used as rootstock for pears

Yield: 1 bushel (35 liters), 75 lbs 

Harvesting: September – November.  Decide when the fruit is agency, absolutely yellow coloured (no inexperienced), and aromatic.

Storage: Will retailer in a cool place (like a fridge) for 1-2 months.  Deal with fastidiously as quinces can bruise simply even when arduous.

Cydonia oblonga – Franz Eugen Kohler (1897)


USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9

AHS Warmth Zone: 9-3

Chill Requirement: 50-450 hours/models relying on the species and selection

Plant Kind: Small Tree to Medium-sized Shrub

Leaf Kind: Deciduous 

Forest Backyard Use: Cover Tree for small Forest Backyard, Sub-Cover (Understory) Tree, Shrub

Cultivars/Varieties: Many types out there.  New varieties are proof against many frequent illnesses.

Pollination: Self-Pollinating/Self-Fertile
Flowering: Could-August relying on the variability and USDA Zone the place it’s planted

Life Span:
Years to Start Bearing: 3-5 years, relies on the rootstock.  Smaller grownup vegetation will bear sooner.
Years to Most Bearing: 5-10 years
Years of Helpful Life: No good references for this, however contemplating its measurement and family, it may possible reside to be at 30 years and possibly over 50 years

The quince blossom is far bigger than that of apples.


Dimension: 10-20 ft (3-7 meters) tall and extensive

Roots: Shallow and flat

Progress Charge: Medium

An older, however nonetheless very productive, quince tree.


Mild: Prefers full solar

Shade: Tolerates gentle shade (about 50%)

Moisture: Medium, nevertheless will likely be extra vulnerable to pests and illness within the shade

pH: most species favor pretty impartial soil (6.1 – 7.0)

Particular Concerns for Rising: Tolerates juglone (pure progress inhibitor produced by Black Walnut and its family).  Think about using this tree as a buffer between your walnuts and different plantings.

Propagation:  Often grafted.  Will typically root from cuttings. Seeds want not less than 13 weeks stratification for germination

Minimal.  Quince fruit primarily on the information of shoots made the earlier yr.  After the preliminary framework is established (very similar to an apple tree), minimal pruning is required.  Mild pruning to let in additional gentle and air circulation will enhance yields.


  • Toxic – Leaves and seeds comprise a precursor to cyanide (giant quantities have to be eaten for this to be poisonous).
  • Humid environments are perfect for quince leaf blight – think about resistant varieties.  That is the one important illness for the quince.
  • Since it’s such a detailed relative to apples, many illnesses and pests that have an effect on apples could cause hassle for quinces, however normally at a a lot decreased fee since apples are a “weaker” plant.

A wonderful quince pie.

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