Characteristics of Quince Tree (Cydonia oblonga) in the Wild

Cydonia oblonga
Quince (Cydonia oblonga) is the only member of the genus Cydonia in the Rosaceae family. The tree produces a fruit similar to pears, and golden yellow when ripe.

Throughout history, cooked quince has been used as food, but the tree is also often planted as an attractive flower ornamental plant.

Four other species that were previously included in the genus Cydonia are now treated in separate genera. One of them is Chinese Quince (Pseudocydonia sinensis) and three other East Asian quinces in the genus Chaenomeles.

The name “quince” originated in the 14th century as a plural form of quoyn, through Old French cooin from Latin cotoneum malum or cydonium malum, and finally from Greek κυδώνιον μῆλον, kydonion melon which means apple Kydonian.

Quince trees are native flora from rocky slopes and forest edges in West Asia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Georgia, northern Iran, and Afghanistan. This tree can flourish in various climates and northern latitudes.

Quince is valued for its strong aroma, taste, and bitterness. However, most quince varieties are too hard and sour to be eaten fresh or raw. But it can be processed to make it jam, jelly, or pudding.

In 2017, the total production of quince fruit in the world was 692,262 tons, led by Turkey and China in the first and second positions, combined with 41% of the total in the world.

Quince tree cultivars used as fruit producers include’Aromatnaya’, ‘Bereczki’, ‘Champion’, ‘Cooke’s Jumbo’, ‘Dwarf Orange’, ‘Gamboa’, ‘Iranian’, ‘kashmiri Bumm tchoont’, ‘Isfahan’, ‘Le Bourgeaut’, ‘Lescovacz’, ‘Ludovic’, ‘Maliformis’, ‘Meeches Prolific’, ‘Morava’, ‘Orange’ (syn. ‘Apple quince’), ‘Perfume’, ‘Pineapple’, ‘Portugal’ (syn. ‘Lusitanica’), ‘Shams’, ‘Siebosa’, ‘Smyrna’, ‘Van Deman’, ‘Vranja’ (syn. ‘Bereczki’)

Specifically, the cultivar ‘Vranja’ has received an award from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).


Characteristics of Quince Leaf

Cydonia oblonga Leaf
Source : m. v.

The leaves change, the shape is simple, with a length of 6-11 cm, and has a jag at the edges.


Characteristics of Quince Flower

Cydonia oblonga Flower
Source : Rockstein

Quince flowers appear in spring after leaves, white or pink, and are about 5 cm long with five petals.


Characteristics of Quince Fruit

Cydonia oblonga Fruit
Source :

The unripe quince is green with soft gray fur and ripens in late autumn when the fruit turns yellow with hard, very fragrant flesh. Fruit length when ripe between 7-12 cm and width 6-9 cm.

Some quince varieties, such as ‘Aromatnaya’ and ‘Kuganskaya’, can be eaten fresh/raw because they are not too hard.


Characteristics of Quince Tree

Cydonia oblonga Tree
Source :

Adult quince trees can form large shrubs with 5-8 meters high and 4-6 meters wide in the wild. The tree is very tough, it can withstand hot temperatures and tolerant in a variety of soils, from low pH to moderate pH.

In addition, quince trees also tolerate shaded or sunlit growth areas, but sunlight is needed to produce flowers and fruit. Simply put, this quince tree doesn’t need much care and can continue to grow even if it’s not pruned for years or with insects and plant diseases.

Quince trees are cultivated on all warm and temperate climates with temperatures below 7 °C (45 °F), to produce better flowers and fruit.

In Europe, quince trees are generally planted in central and southern regions where summer is hot enough to make the fruit ripen. The trees do not grow in large numbers, usually one or two trees planted in the garden, mixed with several trees such as apples and other fruit trees.


Propagation of quince trees is done by cuttings or layering, the first method produces better plants but takes longer to bear fruit than the second method.

Named cultivars can be propagated with cuttings or rootstock grafts. Seed propagation is not used commercially because it is too long to wait for the tree to produce fruit.


Raw quince fruit contains 84% ​​water, 15% carbohydrate, also contains fat and protein. In 100 grams of quince fruit contains 57 calories and vitamin C.

Quince fruit is widely used to make jams, jellies, and roasted or boiled.

In the Balkans and other places, quince fruit is fermented to become a beverage, it can produce around 20-30 ABV.

In the Alsace region in France and the Valais region in Switzerland, drinks made from quince are used as digestives.


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