A Bit Of Magic On Monday ~ Quintessentially Exquisite Quince Flowers

I discovered the quince tree (Cydonia oblonga) at the allotment only last year. It was hanging in large golden fruits like overfed pears. They had a subtle fragrance too. And I was entranced. It seemed as if the tree had materialised from out of some ancient Persian painting. Later I discovered that this was indeed one of its homelands (in that belt of southwest Asia between Armenia, Turkey, North Iran and Afghanistan). On Saturday evening as I was going home, I caught the tree on the last lap of flowering – petals like finest Dresden porcelain. What a treasure. And then I started thinking about quince jelly and quince ‘cheese’ – the dulce de membrillo – as made on Spain’s Iberian peninsula and eaten with Manchego cheese. And then I thought how very generous is the plant world to human kind.

copyright 2018 Tish Farrell

44 thoughts on “A Bit Of Magic On Monday ~ Quintessentially Exquisite Quince Flowers

  1. Quite a queen of flowers, Tish. 🙂 But once you mentioned Manchego (6 or 12 month preferred, thank you), my mind flew from flowers to cheese. Mmmmm to both!!


  2. We have a quince tree in the garden, but is has never produced fruit or flowers. For several years we believed it to be an apple tree – it was brought back from Portugal a while back. Any ideas why it doesn’t flower or fruit?

      1. Not really. The leaves get chewed a bit every now and then by beetles and of course we are going into winter so they look a little manky with the cold but that’s about it.

      2. Have asked the ‘expert’ and he’s no help at all. The leaves on the allotment quince are about 4 inches long, oval, mid-green and a bit floppy. But there are other varieties of quince. It is pretty odd that it makes no buds at all, but otherwise seems happy.

  3. Quince is a deeply underrated fruit. We used to get bushels of them in Israel where people wound up in the hospital from eating too many of them. You are actually supposed to skin them first, NOT eat the whole thing.

    1. I gather there are 2 varieties – the ones you can eat without cooking, and the ones that are very hard and definitely need a lot of cooking, which are the sort you find in the UK.

  4. It is indeed. Quinces cook to such a surprising pink too. Quince paste seems to be the go-to use in Australia in certain circles. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in a shop, but they were a feature of my childhood. Trees always seemed o be gnarled and old. I also have a vague memory of an ancient quince tree near a farmhouse ruin playing a role in the early days of courtship. Your quince flowers are supreme.

    1. That’s v. interesting about quince trees in Australia – that they would be on the list of things to take out there (by those in certain circles).

  5. Such beautiful flowers not had quince jelly since I lived in NZ. What is the collar round the base for? We put them around trees to keep the possums off, didn’t think you had that problem over there…

    1. Collars with various applications are used on fruit trees to protect them from insects, but I’m not sure about these particular ones. They look like the sort that are used to protect saplings from rabbit damage, but so far (touch wood) I’ve not seen rabbits at the allotment.

  6. What beautiful photos. I like the way the sight of the blossoms leads you to such profound ruminations.

  7. I like the comparison to fine porcelain. Beautiful. I’ve never seen a quince tree that I know but the blossoms are lovely.

  8. I adore quinces, and dream of having a quince tree but for that I would need a bigger garden or an allotment. I wonder about the covers on the trunk too. I am not sure how often the grass is cut or how it is cut but the covers could protect the trunks from lawn mowers or sharp blades.

    1. I’m finding myself a bit obsessed with them. All of a sudden we are in full bloom all over the place – rapeseed fields, gorse, apple blossom, bluebells, leaves.

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