Chaenomeles lagenaria (Lois.) Koidz. "Snow"

Chaenomeles snow plant

Family - Rosaceae

Stems - Woody, multiple from base, suckering, erect to reclining or clambering, to +2m tall, glabrous, terete, often terminating with a thick thorn.

Leaves - Alternate, sessile to short petiolate, stipulate. Stipules large, foliaceous. Petioles to 5mm long. Blade obovate to elliptic-ovate or oblong, tapering to base, shiny green above, dull grey-green below, obtuse to acute, crenulate, to +/-7cm long, +/-4cm broad.

Inflorescence - Flowers appearing just before or with new seasons leaves. Flowers axillary on previous seasons buds.

Chaenomeles snow flowerInflorescence and hypanthiums(of pink flowers).

Flowers - Corolla rotate, 3.5-4cm broad. Petals 5, free, clawed, glabrous, suborbicular, to 1.6cm in diameter, white. Stamens +40, in few whorls. Filaments glabrous, +1cm long. Anthers 1-2mm long, yellow. Styles 5, slightly thickened below stigmas. Ovary inferior, 5-locular. Placentation axile. Hypanthium campanulate, constricted at base, -8mm in diameter, 7mm long(tall), green, glabrous. Sepals 5, alternating with petals, 5-6mm long, 4-5mm broad, obtuse at apex. Pome ellipsoid to ovoid or pyriform, to +6cm long, greenish-purple, bitter in flavor.

Chaenomeles snow plant

Flowering - March - May.

Habitat - Cultivated.

Origin - Native to Asia.

Other info. - This is a very popular plant in cultivation in Missouri and elsewhere. The common name is "Flowering Quince" but true Quince is a different plant, Cydonia oblonga Miller. (Rosaceae).
The fruit of C. lagenaria is edible but it is very bitter. The fruit gets more medicinal use than culinary use as it is believed to cure many ailments.
This cultivar has white flowers but the typical flower color of the species is pink to red. You can see a typical plant in the "Red Flowers Alternate" section of this website.
A synonym for the species is C. speciosa (Sweet) Nakai

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 4-20-00.