Japonica in January

Japonica flowering in January
Anne Langley

Following on from ‘Daffodils in December’ I looked around the garden and found ‘Japonica in January’ also flowering early. (To be honest it was there in December too but that spoils the alliteration!) I suspect that some of you will be leaping up and down saying “doesn’t she know that it should be called Chaenomoles speciosa?” However it was always called japonica when I was growing up so it will always be japonica to me. (I appreciate that this means ‘from Japan’ and since quite a lot of plants come from Japan it’s not a very helpful name.) Just for the record, it’s sometimes called Cydonia too.

A quince tree

This is a member of the quince family and you can make quince jam or jelly with the fruit it bears, though it’s hard work because the fruit are small. The lovely pomegranate trees with red flowers to be found around the Mediterranean belong to the same family.