Talk about pleasant and unexpected surprises-look at what I found in the garden! Can you recognize it? Surely it is easy right? Okay, maybe not so easy. The fruit pictured above is a 'Texas Scarlet' quince. I know it looks an awful lot like an apple but take my word for it, it is a quince.
I had no idea when I planted two quince (Chaenomeles speciosa 'Texas Scarlet' and Chaenomeles japonica 'Rubra') three years ago that they would actually bear fruit. Well, one of them did anyhow. The real shocker is this plant is only about two feet tall and grows in an out of the way spot that is somewhat shaded. I bet it does not receive more than two-three hours of direct sun so the fact it bore fruit is a real treat.
I liked these plants because they have such red flowers at a time in early spring when no other red blooming shrub is around. You simply cannot miss the red flowers. I never knew fruit would actually come from them-well duh me. Now I am wondering if all those huge specimens I see around town are loaded with fruit and I think I'll be checking this out soon.
I really was not sure if the fruit was ripe since I've never grown these and did not expect any fruit, but that fact did not stop me from picking the fruit and cutting it open and tasting it. I must say the fruit is very hard and a quite tart-extremely tart. I do think it would make a good jelly but quince are not good eating fruits in my opinion. I did find out later that ripe quince fruits are yellow-so I think I picked mine at the perfect time. It still amazes me I never saw it before.
I saved the seeds and may try to start some more 'Texas Scarlet' from the seeds. I hope next year my 'Rubra' will add to the mix by producing fruit too. Just this past year I added a white flowering quince to the garden as well. It is 'Jet Trail' and I believe it is a species type quince so I expect it will set fruit at some point in time as well-I hope so.
Any experiences with quince fruiting?
in the garden....
Public Service Announcement: Everyone in the local area please make time to visit the Montgomery County Master Gardeners Plant Sale tomorrow from 8 am-? at Veteran's Plaza on Madison Street. It is a sale you DO NOT want to miss-take it from me, a passionate plant collector this is a must see sale for some of the best plants for our area at low prices.