Chaenomeles speciosa (commonly known as flowering quince or Japanese quince or as zhou pi mugua in traditional Chinese medicine) is a thorny deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub native to eastern Asia. It is taller than another commonly cultivated species, C. japonica, usually growing to about 2 m. The flowers are usually red, but may be white or pink, and the fruit is a fragrant but hard pome that resembles a quince.
This plant is widely cultivated in temperate regions for its twining habit and its showy flowers which appear early in the season - occasionally even in midwinter. It is frequently used as an informal low hedge. Numerous cultivars with flowers in shades of white, pink and red have been selected. Many of these cultivars and hybrids have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
The fruit has been part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for thousands of years, used to treat arthritis, leg oedema, and cramping in the calf muscle. A constituent of its extract has been found to be an effective and selective dopamine reuptake inhibitor.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.