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What Does a Quince Tree Look Like?

By Elisabeth Dahl
The quince is closely related to the apple and the pear.

In the ancient civilizations of the Middle East and Greece, the quince tree's fruit was important. In Colonial America, almost every middle-class family had a quince tree. But in the United States today, quince trees--scientific name Cydonia oblonga--and their fruit are far less popular.

Size and Shape

Quince plants can be grown as shrubs or as trees, reaching heights of 8 to 12 feet. Their branches are gnarled and twisted.

Leaves and Flowers

Quince leaves can be broad at the base and narrow at the tip, or they can be oblong. They usually measure about 2 inches wide by 4 inches long. The tree produces white-petaled flowers that measure about 2 inches in diameter.

Fruit

Unlike its relatives the apple and the pear, the quince tends to be hard and bitter and is usually cooked rather than eaten raw. Many jams, jellies and preserves are made from quince.

Varieties

Varieties of quince tree include Pineapple, Orange, Smyrna, and Van Deman. Each variety produces fruit of a slightly different shape, size and hue.

Harvesting

In California, quince of different varieties are harvested mainly in September and October.

 

About the Author

 

Elisabeth Dahl is a freelance writer and copyeditor who has worked in publishing since 1991. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Arts degree from Georgetown University, where she was a Writing Center Associate Fellow.