Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Japanese Quince


A few of the flowering shrubs in our gardens are among the showiest plants we own.  In general a flowering shrub is only in bloom for about a week each year, but for that short period they can out shine anything else.  This is Japanese quince, Chaenomeles japonica, and TPP has never decided what to call the color of this flower, orangish-red?  We also have a much redder double-flowered variety which is still on the young/small end of the spectrum.  The regular quince has a  typical maloid flower with 5 overlapping petals on the rim of a hypanthium, lots of stamens, and an inferior ovary that can mature into an apple-like quince.  Sadly right now the flower covered bush is all bent over because of an April 20 wet snow, and worse a hard freeze predicted overnight.  The apple trees and strawberries are also in flower,  And maybe if covered the strawberries may make a few fruit, but the apples and quinces are probably toast, as are peaches, plums, and pears here abouts.  As are the flowers off the three magnolias in full bloom, M. soulangiana, M. liliflora "Anne", and M. acuminata x denudata 'butterflies' a yellow-flowered hybrid.  M. seiboldii may also get leaves and flower buds damaged.  Lots of other things are on the potenially damaged list, so TPP is quite upset with the fickle nature of spring weather here in the great upper Midwest.

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