March 19, 2011

Garden Inspiration: A Quince of a Different Color

Native to the slopes of Mount Fuji in Japan, the beautiful flowering quince (chaenomeles japonica) 'Atsuya Hamada' boasts deep maroon-red blooms in spring. The camellia-like blooms heavily embellish almost every branch of this shrub.

Most quince varieties that I have seen lean toward white, salmon pink to orange shades—whereas the deep red of this quince is almost black-red. My photo below (click to enlarge) was taken in the middle of the day with strong sun and no shade.

chaenomeles japonica 'Atsuya Hamada'
at the JC Raulston Arboretum,
Raleigh, NC; March 2011.

I spotted this gorgeous shrub on a spring walk through the JC Raulston Arboretum (click link for more photos of this quince) in Raleigh, North Carolina. Never having seen this shrub, I searched the Web for more information on the growing conditions.

The quince will grow up to 10 feet in height and is suitable for cold up to zone 5. It was introduced to the United States by Northwest plantsman, Roy Davidson. Fruit can take years to appear.

So far, I've not been able to find online retail nursery sources, but I did find this at a local nursery. I didn't bring it home as I don't yet have a space identified. That said, I am definitely keeping this on my list of possibilities. Quince is seldom bothered by deer unless the herd is without other food sources.

If you don't have deer to nibble tulips—can you imagine this quince with perfectly coordinated masses of tulips? Inspiring!

Tulips, as seen in Monet's Gardens in France,
would be perfect companions with this quince.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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