Chaenomeles speciosa

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Not to be confused with Carica papaya, papaya, which, like Chaenomeles speciosa, is sometimes called mugua.
Not to be confused with Pseudocydonia sinensis, papaya, which, like C. speciosa, is sometimes called mugua.
Chaenomeles speciosa
Chaenomeles lagenaria3.jpg
Flowers of C. speciosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Chaenomeles
Species: C. speciosa
Binomial name
Chaenomeles speciosa
(Sweet) Nak.
Synonyms[1]

Chaenomeles speciosa (commonly known as flowering quince or Japanese quince[2] or as zhou pi mugua[3] in traditional Chinese medicine[4]) 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 (6 ft 7 in).[2] The flowers are usually red, but may be white or pink, and the fruit is a fragrant but hard pome that resembles a quince.[2]

Cultivation[edit]

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. The following cultivars and hybrids have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • 'Geisha Girl'[5]
  • 'Moorloosei'[6]
  • 'Crimson and Gold'[7]
  • 'Knap Hill Scarlet'[8]
  • 'Nicoline'[9]
  • 'Pink Lady'[10]

Ethnomedical uses[edit]

The fruit has been part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for thousands of years, used to treat arthritis, leg edema, and cramping in the calf muscle.

Pharmacology[edit]

A constituent of its extract has been found to be an effective and selective dopamine reuptake inhibitor.[11]

See also[edit]

  • Pseudocydonia (Chaenomeles sinensis), also called mugua and "Chinese quince"
  • Papaya, a tropical fruit that shares the name mugua

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". 
  2. ^ a b c Bailey, L.H.; Bailey, E.Z.; the staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third: A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. Macmillan, New York.
  3. ^ "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Subhuti Dharmananda 2005. "Chaenomeles: A relaxing and strengthening fruit" in Institute for Traditional Medicine database [1]
  5. ^ http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=376
  6. ^ http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=377
  7. ^ http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=378
  8. ^ http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=379
  9. ^ http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=2304
  10. ^ http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=2305
  11. ^ Zhao G, Jiang ZH, Zheng XW, Zang SY, Guo LH (2008). "Dopamine transporter inhibitory and antiparkinsonian effect of common flowering quince extract.". Pharmacol Biochem Behav 90 (3): 363–71. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2008.03.014. PMID 18485464.