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A picture of a Quince


Cydonia oblonga

Also known as

Common Quince

Quitte Cydonia oblonga-2 by Dietrich Krieger (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








10 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

Quinces are harvested in the autumn and can be left to ripen on the tree.

More images of Quince

Cydonia oblonga
Cydonia oblonga
Cydonia oblonga
A photo of Quince

Quince Overview

A Quince is a small deciduous tree, growing 5-8 m high and 4-6 m wide, that bears a pome fruit, similar in appearance to a pear, and bright golden-yellow when mature. The fruit is 7 to 12 cm long and 6 to 9 cm across. Throughout history the cooked fruit has been used as food, but the tree is also grown for its attractive pale pink blossoms and other ornamental qualities. The immature fruit is green with dense grey-white pubescence, most of which rubs off before maturity in late autumn when the fruit changes colour to yellow with hard, strongly perfumed flesh. The alternate leaves are simple, 6–11 cm long, with an entire margin and densely pubescent with fine white hairs. The flowers, produced in spring after the leaves, are white or pink with five petals. In Turkey, the expression ayvayı yemek (literally "to eat the quince") is used as a derogatory term indicating any unpleasant situation or a malevolent incident to avoid. This usage is likened to the rather bitter aftertaste of a quince fruit inside the mouth.

Common problems with Quince

Quinces can also suffer from Leaf blight (Diplocarpon mespili).

Quince Companion Plants

How to propagate Quince


Take hardwood cuttings 15 to 30 cm in length in winter or early spring, dip into rooting hormone powder and plant in moistened horticultural sand, 8 to 10 cm into the sand. Because the cuttings take months to root and need to be kept moist, this soilless medium helps prevent rot and encourage drainage. Keep cuttings in a warm area with bright light until spring, when you can plant them out into trenches 15 cm apart. Cuttings should be rooted and well established in year.


Sowing time - Winter; Spacing - 4-6cm apart; Sowing depth - double the seed size. Graft the desired cultivar onto the growing quince sapling when about 1-2cm thick.


Layering is done in spring and left for a full year before being removed from the mother plant.

Special features of Quince

Hedge plant

Small trees with an untidy tangle of branches that resist formal training, the Quince makes a great hedge screen in any garden. Popular in old days to plait the branches to make beautiful hedges.

Attractive flowers

Flower buds are pink, and lighten when opening to an almost white colour.

Attractive fruits

Other uses of Quince

The fruits can be eaten raw or cooked.


Fruits are almost never eaten raw, but stewed, preserved and made into jellies and jams with pink colour developing when cooked.


Quince seedlings can be used as rootstock for pear trees.