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Quince 'Portugal'

Cydonia oblonga 'Portugal'

Quince (Eng.), Kweper (Afr.)

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Portugal Quince is a hard-working, fruit-bearing tree with plenty of character that requires little care in exchange for beautiful blossom, scent and tasty jams. Quince produce large, showy soft-pink flowers and beautiful perfumed golden fruits. They are often used in Middle-Eastern dishes as well as being delicious added to fruit pies and crumbles. The fruit is also used to make jelly. The fragrant pear-shaped fruit turn pale pink when cooked. Quince are usually grown as free-standing 'bush' trees. Choose a sunny, sheltered location.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Portugal quinces are harvested in March and April. Pick the fruit before they drop to the ground. Fruits need careful handling to avoid bruising.

Propagation

Seed
Sowing time - Winter; Spacing - 4-6cm apart; Sowing depth - double the seed size. Graft the desired cultivar onto the growing quince sapling when about 1-2cm thick.
Cuttings
Take hardwood cuttings 15 to 30 cm in length in winter or early spring, dip into rooting hormone powder and plant in moistened horticultural sand, 8 to 10 cm into the sand. Because the cuttings take months to root and need to be kept moist, this soilless medium helps prevent rot and encourage drainage. Keep cuttings in a warm area with bright light until spring, when you can plant them out into trenches 15 cm apart. Cuttings should be rooted and well established in year.
Layering
Layering is done in spring and left for a full year before being removed from the mother plant.
Notes
Propagation is done by cuttings or layering; the former method produces better plants, but they take longer to mature than by the latter. Named cultivars are propagated by cuttings or layers grafted on quince rootstock. Propagation by seed is not used commercially.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Quince is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (moth) species including brown-tail, green pug and winter moth.

Geography

Origin
South-West Asia, Turkey and Iran
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Edible
Fruits are almost never eaten raw, but stewed, preserved and made into jellies and jams with pink colour developing when cooked.

Personality

Family
Rosaceae
Flower colour
Pale pink, Pink, White
Scent
Mild

Problems

The Quince 'Portugal' is occasionally susceptible to fire blight, leaf blight and the false coddling moth.
False codling moth
False codling moth
Thaumatotibia leucotreta

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