Fruiting quince is a multistemmed shrub to 1520 ft. tall and wide. White or blush pink flowers bloom in midspring; these are followed in autumn by fragrant, yellow, round to pear-shaped or oblong fruit traditionally used in the South for jelly and preserves. Fruit reaches 34 in. long and remains as hard as a golf ball even after ripening. Native to Asia. For flowering quince, see Chaenomeles. Discussed here is the closely related Cydonia oblonga, a native of western Asia grown for fruit rather than flowers (it is often confused with flowering quince).
Quince is easy to grow in a sunny spot with slightly acid, well-drained soil; once established, it is incredibly tenacious and nearly impossible to kill, deliberately or otherwise. Named selections are usually available only through mail-order catalogs. Some selections need a pollenizer; planting at least two different ones ensures cross-pollination and larger crops.
'Aromatnaya'. Round; sweet yellow flesh that tastes like pineapple. This selection can be thinly sliced and eaten fresh.
'Cooke's Jumbo'. Pear-shaped fruit with white flesh. Very large; can weigh more than a pound.
'Crimea'. Large, round, yellow-fleshed selection with citrus, pineapple flavor. Can be thinly sliced and eaten fresh.
'Orange'. Medium-size, rounded fruit with orange-yellow flesh.
'Pineapple'. Large, roundish, golden yellow fruit. White flesh has a pineapple flavor.
'Portugal'. Oblong fruit with pinkish flesh that turns red when cooked. Ripens early.
'Smyrna'. Large, round to oblong fruit with lemon-yellow skin and white flesh. Good flavor.