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The so-called "Flowering Quinces" (Chaenomeles spp.) can be distinguished from the closely related Cydonia quinces (e.g., Cydonia oblonga) by their toothed leaves and the united (not free) styles in their flowers. Chaenomeles fruits are more acidic than those of Cydonia and are quite unpalatable raw, but can be used in similar ways (e.g. to make jams, jellies, and pastes and to flavor cooked apples and pears). Various species and hybrids of Chaenomeles have been grown for the production of valuable aroma compounds and an acid juice in Latvia, Lithuania, and China.

According to Phipps et al. (1990), the genus Chaenomeles includes four species (all diploids with 2n=34): C. japonica (a dwarf shrub endemic to Japan) and C. cathayensis, C. speciosa, and C. thibetica (all three large shrubs occurring naturally mainly in China). Chaenomeles cathayensis, C. japonica, and C. speciosa have been crossed extensively by plant breeders during the past several hundred years to produce a great diversity of ornamental cultivars. In nature, only C. cathayensis and C. speciosa are known to overlap geographically (in Yunnan Province, China). The typical habitat is open hillsides, rocky slopes, and ravines in thickets and at forest edges. Chaenomeles japonica, at least, is outcrossing and strongly self-incompatible.

Rumpunen (2002) reviewed the potential of Chaenomeles as a new fruit crop for northern Europe.

(Pearce and Thieret 1991; Vaughan and Geissler 1997; Bartish et al. 2000; Garkava et al. 2000 and references therein; Rumpunen (2002); Rumpunen and Bartish 2002)

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