Chaenomeles japonica

Common Name Dwarf Quince, Maule's quince, Japanese Flowering Quince
Family Rosaceae
Synonyms C. maulei. Cydonia japonica. Cydonia maulei. Pyrus japonica. non Sims. P. maulei.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods in low mountains, C. and S. Japan[58].
Range E. Asia - Japan
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun


Bloom Color: Orange, Red. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Late winter, Mid spring. Form: Vase.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Chaenomeles japonica is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 2 m (6ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Nov to January. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

USDA hardiness zone : 5-8

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Chaenomeles japonica Dwarf Quince, Maule
Chaenomeles japonica Dwarf Quince, Maule


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 3, 4, 11, 177, 183]. Very harsh and acid raw but fragrant when cooked, imparting a strong pleasant flavour to jams and jellies[1, 200], it is especially good cooked with apples in apple pies[K]. The fruit is apple-shaped and about 4cm in diameter[200]. The rich aromatic juice, as tart as a lemon, is squeezed and used for culinary purposes[183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

Other Uses

Plants sucker freely and can be used as a ground cover. The form C. japonica alpina grows to about half the size of the species, it is especially suitable and can be planted about 1 metre apart each way[208].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Hedge, Massing, Woodland garden. Easily cultivated in any reasonably good soil[1]. Prefers a deep moist well-drained loam[4, 11]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates full shade but requires a sunny position for best fruit production[3, 11, 200]. Becomes chlorotic on very alkaline soils[200]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution[200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is hardy to about -25°c[200] and fruits freely in Britain[11]. Plants are occasionally cultivated for their edible fruit[183]. This species is closely allied to C. speciosa[11]. A good bee plant, flowering early in the year and providing pollen and nectar[108]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features:Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.


Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame[200]. Sow stored seed in February in a greenhouse[78]. Germination usually takes place within 6 weeks[78]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. If well grown, these seedling can be large enough to plant out in the summer, but give them some protection in their first winter. Otherwise plant them out in late spring of the following year[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[11]. Easy[113]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, November in a cold frame. Layering in late spring or in autumn. This is a sure and easy method, though it takes 12 months[78, 200]. Division of suckers in late winter[113]. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.


Additional information for Chaenomeles japonica