Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This is Chaenomeles speciosa or flowering Quince. This 6-foot tall, thorny shrub, a member of the Rose family, flowers for three weeks or so in Spring. When I brought this into the house and forced it into bloom the flowers were a delicate shade of pink - lovely!

If these formidable thorns could be pierced at one end to enable threading they would make great needles. My neighbor would take the fruits to the Amish who would make jam or jelly from them. They are said to have a tart flavor and taste best when cooked.

Chaenomeles is from the Greek words, chaino, to split; and meles, an apple. It seems to come from their mistaken belief that the fruit was split.

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