Growing Quince and Medlars

Growing Quince and Medlars

growing medlars These all form very decorative, compact trees with big apple-blossom like flowers. There are two sorts of quince: Cydonia, which are ancient fruit-trees producing rock-hard fruit; and Chaenomeles or Japanese quince, which have smaller and even harder fruits on bushy, spiny shrubs, that are frequently seen in the flower garden for their brilliant red blossom in late winter.

Medlars are pretty small trees with contorted branches, large leathery leaves that colour well in autumn, and a strange fruit that looks like a huge rose hip or a distorted pear.

All these odd fruits are self-fertile and suffer virtually no pests or diseases. They are tolerant of most soils and sites, though do best on moist ones and benefit from a wall or shelter in the north of Britain. One tree will produce enough fruit for a family; plant any more three or four paces apart and they will need almost no attention other than harvesting.

Epicurean attentions

growing quince Quinces cannot be eaten raw though they make very tasty jellies. They will store well and give off an aromatic scent that will fill a kitchen, and taint other foods. Included with apple or pear dishes, they impart a delicious spicy aroma and add texture as they keep their shape when cooked. The medlar fruit is only eaten once ‘bletted’. This involves picking the fruit as ripe as possible and storing them in a frost-free place. When they go soft, almost rotten, the pulp is mixed with cream, liqueurs and honey as a treat — since trying this delicacy I’ve dug up my tree and burnt it.

‘Vranja’ and ‘Portuguese’ are the best Cydonia quinces, others are very similar. The Chaenomeles ‘Buole de Fer’ is highly productive with startling red flowers.

‘Nottingham’ and ‘Royal’ are reckoned to be the tastiest medlars; ‘Dutch’ and ‘Monstrous’ are larger.

More info on growing quince and medlars.

 

06. January 2011 by admin
Categories: Fruit Gardening | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Growing Quince and Medlars

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