4 years to reach maturity
Smyrna quinces are harvested in Autumn. Pick the fruit before they drop to the ground.
Quince 'Smyrna' Overview
Smyrna has strong aromatic flavored white flesh. Fruits are large and lemon yellow in color. Quinces are small deciduous trees that can be espaliered or pruned into hedges. This splendid tree has the looks and personality of a peach or apple tree. Smyrna is a Turkish quince and produces pale yellow pear-shaped fruit. The flesh turns pale pink when cooked and remains aromatic and firm. Propagation is done by cuttings or layering; the former method produces better plants, but they take longer to mature than by the latter. Named cultivars are propagated by cuttings or layers grafted on quince rootstock. Propagation by seed is not used commercially.
Common problems with Quince 'Smyrna'
Very susceptible to fire blight. Green pug and winter moth are common pests as well as Codling moth.
Quince 'Smyrna' Companion Plants
How to propagate Quince 'Smyrna'
Sowing time - Winter; Spacing - 4-6cm apart; Sowing depth - double the seed size. Graft the desired cultivar onto the growing quince sapling when about 1-2cm thick.
Take hardwood cuttings 15 to 30 cm in length in winter or early spring, dip into rooting hormone powder and plant in moistened horticultural sand, 8 to 10 cm into the sand. Because the cuttings take months to root and need to be kept moist, this soilless medium helps prevent rot and encourage drainage. Keep cuttings in a warm area with bright light until spring, when you can plant them out into trenches 15 cm apart. Cuttings should be rooted and well established in year.
Layering is done in spring and left for a full year before being removed from the mother plant.
Special features of Quince 'Smyrna'
Small trees with an untidy tangle of branches that resist formal training, the Quince makes a great hedge screen in any garden. Popular in old days to plait the branches to make beautiful hedges.
Flower buds are pink, and lighten when opening to a very pale pink almost white colour.
Other uses of Quince 'Smyrna'
Unlike most fruit, it is almost never eaten raw. The fruit is used stewed, preserved or made into jams and jellies. Quince's high pectin content makes it perfect for jams and preserves - quince jelly being a favourite.