'Moned' or "Super Red"
Japanese Flowering Quince
"Tart was she as a quince
Living in a fairy land."
Early in spring of 2002 Granny Artemis & I were at a nearby park called The Children's Garden which is maintained by neighborhood volunteers, & does indeed have childrens' gardens at one side.
It is a lovely little park with a bridge over a large duck pond, winding path down to a saltwater bay, an old grape arbor, & a selection of truly enormous native rhododendrons with thick tree trunks. That it is a very old neighborhood project rather than a state park makes me love it all the more.
We were wandering about in a somewhat wild section when we saw a flowering quince I especially liked, about ten feet tall & sprawling fifteen or so feet wide. We both enthused about it & talked about our mutual affection for flowering quinces, which our garden lacked. But not for long.
A short time later we had installed a young (about 30 inches tall & wide) Chaenomeles japonica 'Moned,' also sold under the trademarked name of Super Red Flowering Quince, giving it a sunny location.
Now when inspired by a large specimen of something, a tiny one fresh from the nursery can sometimes seem pretty measily. But I loved the look of the Moned right off the bat, its limbs were very wonderfully formed & it looked substantial even as a youngster. It looked like it was almost done blooming when we obtained it, but it wasn't in the ground a week before late buds sprang open, & come May it still had fire-bright blooms. Thus we were able to get that spiffy first photo above left, in late April (2003).
The following year, though many local quinces were in full flower earlier in March, ours again held off until almost April (2004) to display its intensely red blooms. The second photo was snapped at the tail-end of March. The mainly April & May flowering for 'Moned' is slightly later than the wild quinces.
The 'Moned' hybrid isn't likely ever to grow as big as the huge, wild, rugged, & old quince seen at the Children's Garden. But 'Moned' can get big enough at six to eight feet tall & a good eight feet wide. A pure C. japonica is an alpine dwarf usually less than three feet tall, but 'Moned' is a hybrid that in size can be almost as large as C. speciosa. 'Moned' is however slow growing & ours has remained about three by three feet for some while.
When a specimen does take off growing, some people end up cutting them back dramatically to keep them compact, but when that's done, they have very uninteresting limb structure & are only good for the spring flowers. Ours hasn't quite the space to be permitted to sprawl, but I will be attempting in the years to come to shape it artfully as it grows, so that it will have a wild, crooked, reaching look to it. They do need pruning every year or two because they bloom best on new wood, but if they are to have excellent rather than mediocre form, a set of shapely bending thrunks must be encouraged.
Ours has a lovely shape so far. During its first couple years in the garden it did not sucker. If it eventually begins suckering like mad (as many quinces do) & tries to spread sideways from the bottom, that at least I will restrict, encouraging it upward where it may someday join with the nearby Franchet cotoneaster arbor.
Our 'Moned' has not yet set fruit, though I've seen smaller quince bushes do so. The quinces make a fine jelly, or can be mixed with other fruits that have less pectin to help those jell to natural perfection.
Chaenomeles x superba, Light Red
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