Another thank you to Rosa, aka contemplar@Flickr for sharing a photograph with us (original image | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). I thought a little bit of colour was in order to offset yesterday’s entry. Do visit Rosa’s weblog, Blog De Cheiros, for more of what is blooming in Portugal (here’s her write-up on Chaenomeles japonica). Thanks again, Rosa!
Maule’s quince or Japanese flowering quince sometimes goes by another common name, and it is one that is the cause for some confusion: japonica. If you were to ask for a japonica at a nursery, or have a question about japonica on web forums or other horticultural extension service, the reply in almost all cases will be “Which one?”, the assumption being that you were familiar with part of the scientific name for a plant and not providing a common name. Over one hundred and thirty genera in cultivation have a species with the epithet japonica (e.g., Camellia japonica, Cryptomeria japonica, Pieris japonica, Primula japonica, etc.). As you can tell, japonica does not a good common make.
The fruit of Chaenomeles japonica resembles an miniature yellowish-green apple (and is indeed a pome), but it isn’t particularly edible without processing into jams, juices, jellies or liquers. In the Botanical Garden office, though, we enjoy the autumnal fruits for the smell; a golf ball-sized fruit can add a hint of apple fragrance to a small office.