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Chaenomeles x superba 'Pink Lady'
Flowering Quince

Flowering QuinceWe were not even sure what this shrub was so you can imagine our surprise when we saw it bloom in the middle of the winter in North Carolina.

A fairly popular small shrub, this Flowering Quince is a cross between C. japonica and C. speciosa and will grow to three to five feet. Pink Lady is thornless (although others of this cultivar have thorns) and produces flowers from March to May (this one produced earlier).

Pink Lady has dark pink flowers but other superba might have white, pink, orange-scarlet, or crimson flowers. It also produces apple-like fruits in the fall.

Flowering QuinceChaenomeles is a genus with just three species (japonica, speciosa, and cathayensis) but many cultivars. Originating in Japan, China, and Korea, they are frost hardy and very adaptable.

It thrives in all soils and flourishes in both sun and light shade but is best planted in dry conditions, well drained soil, in full sun.

Pruning is not necessary but you can encourage bushier growth by cutting back some of the older branches in the winter.

Propagation is usually done by planting semi-ripe cuttings in a cold frame in the summer or by planting rooted suckers in the fall.