Scientific Name: Chaenomeles speciosa
Plant Family: Rosaceae
There are winter-flowering species scattered through MEMBG and these are easy to discover on an afternoon walk in the garden. One of these is flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa), a spiny deciduous shrub in the rose family from China and Korea. This species has long been cultivated in eastern Asia for its medicinal properties and its native habitat is obscure. In traditional Chinese medicine it is called zhou pi mugua and the fruits are used in anti-inflammatory treatments and to help alleviate nausea. Eaten raw, the fruits are extremely acid but become quite fragrant when cooked. The cooked fruits are used to make quince jam and as a flavor addition for baked apples.