Cydonia oblonga P. Mill.

quince

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Quince used to be a garden staple of middle-class homesteads throughout North America, but its cultivation has declined in favor of apples and pears. Nonetheless, its fragrant fruits, rich in pectin, add flavor to jams, pastes, and jellies and are rich in Vitamin C. The genus has its origins in western Asia, but has spread throughout the world. Its rosy flowers attract pollinators.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), forest edges, forests

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
Growth form
  • the plant is a shrub (i.e., a woody plant with several stems growing from the base)
  • the plant is a tree
Leaf type
the leaf blade is simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaves per node
there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
Leaf duration
the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
armature on plant
the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns
Leaf blade length
50–100 mm
Leaf blade width
30–50 mm
Leaf stalk
the leaves have leaf stalks
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is fleshy
Bark texture
  • the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
  • the bark of an adult plant peels off easily or hangs off
Twig winter color
  • brown
  • purple
Bud scale number
there are two scales on the winter bud, and their edges meet
Show All Characteristics
  • Buds or leaf scars
    Bud scale number
    there are two scales on the winter bud, and their edges meet
    Bud scar shape (Fraxinus)
    NA
    Collateral buds
    there are no collateral buds on the sides of the branches
    Superposed buds
    there are no superposed buds on the branch
  • Flowers
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Enlarged sterile flowers
    there are no enlarged sterile flowers on the plant
    Flower petal color
    • pink
    • white
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Hairs on ovary (Amelanchier)
    NA
    Hypanthium present
    the flower has a hypanthium
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence has only one flower on it
    Number of pistils
    1
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal fusion
    the perianth parts are separate
    Sepal cilia (Ilex)
    NA
    Stamen number
    13 or more
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    yellow
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is fleshy
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a berry (fleshy, with the wall enclosing one or more sections, with two or more seeds)
    Nut with spines (Fagaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    there are no wings on the fruit
  • Glands or sap
    Sap color
    the sap is clear and watery
    Stalked glands on fruit (Rosa)
    NA
  • Growth form
    Growth form
    • the plant is a shrub (i.e., a woody plant with several stems growing from the base)
    • the plant is a tree
  • Leaves
    Hairs on upper side of leaf blade
    • the upper side of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    • the upper side of the leaf is not hairy, or has very few hairs
    Leaf blade base shape
    • The base of the leaf blade is cordate (heart-shaped, with rounded lobes)
    • the base of the leaf blade is rounded
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has no teeth or lobes
    Leaf blade edges (Acer)
    NA
    Leaf blade hairs
    the hairs on the leaf blade are different from the choices given
    Leaf blade length
    50–100 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is oblong (rectangular but with rounded ends)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    Leaf blade width
    30–50 mm
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they wither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf lobe tips (Quercus)
    NA
    Leaf stalk
    the leaves have leaf stalks
    Leaf teeth
    the edge of the leaf blade is entire (has no teeth or lobes)
    Leaf teeth hairs (Carya)
    NA
    Leaf type
    the leaf blade is simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • edges of forests
    • forests
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of an odor, or it has an unpleasant or repellant odor
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Aerial roots
    the plant has no aerial roots
    Bark texture
    • the bark of an adult plant is thin and smooth
    • the bark of an adult plant peels off easily or hangs off
    Branch brittleness (willows only)
    NA
    Branch cross-section
    the branch is circular in cross-section, or it has five or more sides, so that there are no sharp angles
    First-year cane (Rubus)
    NA
    Twig papillae (Vaccinium species only)
    NA
    Twig winter color
    • brown
    • purple
    Wings on branch
    the branch does not have wings on it
    armature on plant
    the plant does not have spines, prickles, or thorns

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
not applicable (S-rank: SNA)

Native to North America?

No

Sometimes Confused With

Pyrus communis:
leaf blades toothed and flowers 25-35 mm in diameter (vs. C. oblonga, with leaf blades entire and flowers 40-50 mm in diameter).
Exochorda racemosa:
flowers borne in a raceme, fruit a capsule, and leaf blades 15-60 mm long (vs. C. oblonga, with flowers occurring singly, fruit a pome, and leaf blades 50-100 mm long).

Synonyms

  • Cydonia vulgaris Pers.
  • Pyrus cydonia L.

Family

Rosaceae

Genus

Cydonia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Cydonia oblonga P. Mill. E

quince. Cydonia vulgaris Pers.; Pyrus cydonia L. • CT, MA. Forest fragments, roadsides, waste areas, areas of habitation. Reports of this species in VT (e.g., Atwood et al. 1973) are based, 
in part, on collections taken from a cultivated plant—23 Jul 1905, Wheeler s.n. ( NEBC!).