Sunday, May 1, 2011

When is a Weigela Not a Weigela? When it's a QUINCE!

Last fall, Steve and I were shocked to find our large weigela full of fruit. We were convinced that however unlikely it seemed, a quince must have taken root and grown among the many stems of the weigela. (Read about our amazing find HERE.)

We had relied on a professional who had identified the shrub for us. I never could get close enough to it to really study and appreciate the blossoms when it was blooming as it was inaccessible by wheelchair. For the most part, I was wheelchair bound whenever it was in bloom. I had no reason to question the ID  - it certainly look identical to the weigela a neighbor had when I was growing up, and even though it bloomed weeks before our other weigelas, it was a different color, clearly a different cultivar, and I just chalked it up to its being an earlier blooming variety.

This spring, I am able to get around more with canes and when the shrub started blooming, I moved in for a closer examination, hoping to spot a quince hiding among the branches of my weigela.

To my supreme embarrassment, I discovered that our lovely red weigela is actually a ...... quince!  Honestly, I couldn't be more delighted and look forward to gathering more fruit this fall (hopefully there will be some). Why it began to produce fruit last year (for the first time in the ten years we've lived here), we have no idea but we are definitely looking forward to a repeat performance!

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