Quince (Cydonia oblonga) is native to Caucasia in western Asia. During ancient times, Quince spread from its wild center of origin to the countries bordering the Himalaya Mountains to the east and throughout Europe to the west, but it is likely that Quince reached the Mediterranean region only in classical times (it was used by the Romans). Quince has many uses and traditions associated with it throughout this broad range.
Quince grows as a multi-stemmed shrub or small tree, 5 to 7 m in height, and has pubescent to Chaenomeles spp.) can be distinguished from Cydonia by their toothed leaves and the united (not free) styles in their flowers. Chaenomeles fruits are more acidic than those of from Cydonia, but can nevertheless be used in similar ways.
(Vaughan and Geissler 1997; Postman 2009 and references therein)
- Postman, J. 2009. Cydonia oblonga: The unappreciated quince. Arnoldia 67(1): 2-9.
- Vaughan, J.G. and C.A. Geissler. 1997. The New Oxford Book of Food Plants (revised and updated edition). Oxford University Press, New York.
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