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Chaenomeles cathayensis (Hemsl.) Schneid.

Modern name

Chaenomeles cathayensis (Hemsl.) C.K.Schneid.


Cydonia cathayensis Hemsl.; Chaenomeles lagenaria var. cathayensis (Hemsl.) Rehd.; Ch. cathayensis var. wilsonii (Rehd.) Bean

A deciduous shrub of open habit, sparsely branched and more or less thorny. Branches tortuous, furnished with spiny spurs several inches long. Leaves short-stalked, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, 3 to 5 in. long, finely toothed, pointed, tapering at the base; glabrous above, usually reddish downy beneath, at least when young. On the young growths of the year the stipules are large, broad, and leaf-like, oblique, 1 in. long, toothed. On year-old shoots the leaves are in tufts springing from the axil of a spine; stipules small. Flowers two or three together in sort clusters; each flower 112 in. in diameter; petals white sometimes flushed with pink, round, overlapping, calyx ciliate. Stamens numerous, shorter than the petals. Fruit very large and heavy; 4 to 6 in. long, 212 to 312 in. wide; somewhat egg-shaped, but abruptly contracted near the base. Seed 38 in. long, wedge-shaped, pointed at one end.

Although this quince is probably a native of China, nothing appears to be definitely known of its habitat. Henry collected it in the province of Hupeh, China, but never undoubtedly wild. It has long been grown at Kew but its introduction is unrecorded. It is perfectly hardy and bears fruit freely, but this does not ripen always out-of-doors. Although not in any way showy, its habit is quaint, and the huge fruits stuck close to the branches have a curious and interesting appearance. There is a specimen of upright habit in the R.H.S. Garden at Wisley, about 15 ft high, which fruits abundantly. Increased by seeds.



Other species in the genus