This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(the fruits known to the Romans as Mala Cydonia, apples from Cydon, now Canea, in Crete). Rosaceae, subfamily Pomeae. Quince. Shrub or small tree, grown for its fruit, which is much used for preserves and sometimes baked.
Branches unarmed: leaves deciduous, alternate, peti-oled, stipulate, entire: flowers white or light pink, rather large, terminal on short leafy branchlets; petals 5; stamens numerous; styles 5, free; ovary 5-celled, cells with many ovules: fruit a 5-celled, many-seeded pome. - One species from Persia to Turkestan. The genus Chaenomeles, often included under Cydonia, is easily distinguished by the serrate or crenate chartaceous leaves and the connate styles.
Fig. 1184. Twig of common quince-Cydonia oblonga. Showing where the fruit was borne at a and b. ( X 1/2)
The quince, though not without ornamental merit, particularly in spring when studded with its large pinkish flowers and again in autumn when loaded with its golden fragrant fruits, is rarely planted as an ornamental shrub, but chiefly, though not very extensively, grown for its fruit which is made into preserves. It is of slow growth and prefers heavy and rather moist soil. It may be propagated by seeds stratified and sown in spring, but is usually increased by cuttings of one-to four-year-old wood, taken in fall and stored until spring in sand or moss in a cellar or frame; also by layers and budding, or by grafting on vigorous growing varieties. See Quince.
Mill. (C. Cydonia, pers. C. vulgaris, Pers. Pyrus Cydbnia, Linn.). Quince. Fig. 1184. Shrub or small tree to 15, rarely to 25 ft., with slender, spineless branches: leaves oval or oblong, rounded or slightly cordate at the base, acute, entire, villous-pubescent beneath, 2-4 in. long: flowers white or light pink, 2 in. across: fruit large, yellow, villous, pyriform or globular. May; fruit in Sept. and Oct. Cent, and E. Asia. Gn. 33, p. 491. F.S.R. 2, p. 379: 3, p. 283. Seeds have mucilaginous and demulcent properties. variety pyriformis, Rehd. (C. vulgaris variety pyriformis, Kirchn.) fruit pear-shaped, the typical form. variety lusitanica, Schneid. (C. lusitanica, Mill.). fruit pear-shaped and ribbed: leaves larger; of more vigorous growth. variety maliformis, Schneid. (C. maliformis, Mill.). fruit apple-shaped. variety pyramidalis, Schneid. Of pyramidal habit. variety marmorata, Schneid. Leaves whitish and yellow variegated. For pomological varieties, see Quince.
For Cydonia japonica, Pers., C. Maulei, Moore, and C. sinensis, Thouin, see Chaemomeles. Alfred Rehder.