Chaenomeles japonica (Thunb.) Lindl. ex Spach
Chaenomeles japonica is a shrub.
Chaenomeles japonica was already described and the name validly published by Carl Peter Thunberg. It was John Lindley, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics .
The shrubs reach heights of 80 to 100 centimetres and are comparatively fast-growing and short-lived. They have a semi-erect habit and produce multiple stems, the main growing season is in spring and summer. The plants reach a width of 1 to 2 metres.
Wood and Bark
The bark is thorny.
Chaenomeles japonica is deciduous. The dark-green, simple leaves are alternate. They are obovate, dentate and petiolate. The foliage is dense.
Flowers and Fruits
Chaenomeles japonica produces cluster of showy, dark-red cup-shaped flowers in April. The plants flower on older shoots. They are hermaphroditic, pollination takes places by self pollination as well as by allogamy through animals.
In autumn the shrubs produce yellow pomes that are both edible and very ornamental.
The plants form shallow roots.
Chaenomeles japonica is native to Japan.
The shrubs prefer a sunny to half-shady situation on moderately moist soil. The substrate should be gritty-loamy or sandy clay and comparatively poor with a pH between 4,5 and 8. The plants need a soil depth of at least 46 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -29Â°C (USDA zone 5) and need a frost-free period of at least 13 weeks.
Tolerance of special soil conditions
- none: soil salinity, anaerobic soil
- medium: calcareous soil
- high: drought, city climate, road salt
The recommended planting distance is 1,2 to 1,8 metres. Suited for moorland gardens, rockeries, rooftop gardens, low cut hedges and for medium-high, free-growing hedges, as well as suited as cemetery plant, container plant, greenery along roads, bee pasture, bird pasture and as plant providing shelter for birds.
Maintenance and Propagation
The plants usually need very little maintenance.
- Plants can be cut back down to the trunk (coppicing) as necessary.
Propagate by cuttings.
Pests and Diseases
- Walter Erhardt, Erich GÃ¶tz, Nils BÃ¶deker, Siegmund Seybold: Der groÃe Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
- Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.