A Gardening Journal

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Kurokoji Ornamental Quince

Tomato-red flowers of my Hollandia cultivar of ornamental quince are so vivid, so welcome after Winter, that I've planted two others whose flowers are supposed to be even more intense: Kurokoji and Atsuya Hamada.

 

Chaenomeles japonica Kurokoji fingers 042116 640

 

Above is one of the first-ever flowers of my young Chaenomeles japonica 'Kurokoji', whose color is reported to be among the most saturated red of any. Below, my long-established Chaenomeles x superba 'Hollandia'. 

 

Chaenomeles x superba Hollandia 042116 640 

 

And there's no difference! There are scores of Chaenomeles cultivars and, as here, it can be nearly impossible to distinguish among them on the basis of flowers alone. The habit of Kurokoji, though, is reported to be quite different: It is upright.

 

My Hollandia is espaliered. The link shows it much earlier in its training onto a frame that's seven feet high and nine feet wide; the shrub has since filled it out completely. I planted a pair of Kurokoji, one at either side of the sister frame at the other side of the Red Garden, in case that cultivar is so upright that I can't spread its branches out far enough. And to be sure of coverage—and, finally, of a cultivar with flowers really are darker than either Hollandia or Kurokoji, I've planted C. japonica 'Atsuya Hamada' in the center. 

 

This picture below of Atsuya Hamada is from the web. My starter plant will flower in 2017 at the earliest; then, we'll know if it really is the darkest.

 

Chaenomeles japonica Atsuya Hamada 640

 

 

Here's how to grow Chaenomeles x superba 'Hollandia', whose hardiness and handling are similar. 

 
 
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