Help with identification please

Another section by popular demand. If you want to talk about anything else that grows that is not livestock, herbs, fruit or vegetables here it goes.
Skippy
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Help with identification please

Post: # 294114Post Skippy »

Working away today and i was asked a question about a bush in the garden. The guy wanted to know if it was a crab apple. I knew it wasn't but embarrassingly don't know what it is. A photo might help but unfortunately i don't carry a camera and whilst my phone can take pictures it's owner can't work out how to get the off it so i'll try to describe it.
Quite a decent size , not sure how large it could get as i keep it trimmed. Dark green foliage although new growth comes out more red than green. There seem to be some very small thorns . The bush bears fruit which look a bit like an apple hence the question if it was a crab apple. They are around 2" or so across and a pale green with a sort of flecked skin. Inside the flesh is very pale green and there is a mass of pale seeds in the centre. I've tried googling all sorts of things and scrolled through loads of pictures but without finding it. I don't think it's some weird rare plant as i've come across it in a few places. Oh and it's not a quince.

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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294115Post Green Aura »

The foliage and thorns sounds like a wild pear. Mine has, thus far, never fruited so I can't help with that.
Maggie

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Skippy
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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294116Post Skippy »

Thanks , i've googled images of wild pear but don't think it's that. The leave are more pointed and more of a semi glossy dark green possibly more like an evergreen although as i don't see the bush over the winter i'm not certain. Plenty of fruit on it which almost seems a shame if they are inedible. Not much of a smell to them , well not to me anyway.

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Odsox
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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294119Post Odsox »

Sounds a bit like a Medlar, although it's been many, many years since I saw one. They used to grow wild in hedges where I grew up in Kent.
Never tried the fruit but they were very pretty in bloom.
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Skippy
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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294124Post Skippy »

It's been a while since i've seen a medlar . The last time must have been over a decade ago when i worked at Stowe house in Buckinghamshire and we had a fair few off the trees and very nice they were too even if they look as if they should be chucked rather than eaten . So i'm pretty certain it's not a medlar. In hindsight i should have cut a piece off and brought it back with me and used my wife's phone which is a little more up to date. If i can't find a answer in the next two weeks i'll have to snip a bit off when i go back there.

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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294159Post Skippy »

As I should of done at the start I have actually taken some photos and also brought a chunk home with me. I have had someone suggest a species but without saying what it is I thought I would see if anyone on here came up with the same suggestion.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/183515781 ... 375243078/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/183515781 ... 375243078/

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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294160Post Green Aura »

Those definitely look like apples - young russets? Or it could still be some kind of pear, I suppose. I was a bit foxed by the leaves as they don't seem to have the fine serration but on a closer look some of them do. It might help to take one of the fruit and have a look inside. I still can't explain the thorns though!

If no one here can help have a look at Woodland Trusts website - they have an identification app that might help.
Maggie

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Odsox
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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294161Post Odsox »

That looks like a Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles Japonica).
I have one and the fruit changes colour in late autumn to a bright yellow, and has orange flowers in late winter.
It also has thorns, and I have never come across an apple tree with thorns. :lol:
Tony

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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294162Post Skippy »

Thanks Odsox , that's what someone else has said so that seems to confirm it. Perhaps a tiny bit embarrassing as i said it wasn't a quince but it certainly looks different to the quinces we've used in jam. I generally don't get to see the flowers as i don't tend to be there between the end of october and easter and wikipedia seems to confirm it flowers late winter . There's one in each of the two gardens i look after which are next to each other and the one seems to have more thorns than the other but to be honest i don't feel it's a big factor , they're not huge or really spiney.
Odsox one question , have you tried eating them ?

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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294163Post Odsox »

Hah, that was the reason I planted one, a nice small bush rather than a big sprawling "proper" quince tree.
It has plenty of fruit, but they are as hard as old boots and if you either pick them, or leave them on the tree, they go from hard to rotten in no time after about 3 months.
I even tried simmering them for an hour or so, but still inedible.

It is very pretty in late winter though.
Tony

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Skippy
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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294164Post Skippy »

I've just told my wife what you have said and her reply was "wonder what they'd like in gin?" Not totally random as she has a few bottles seeping away , plum gin , redcurrant gin and so on. We have just tried a piece of one of the japanese quinces and they are pretty sharp as well as hard so not good to eat raw but it is making me wonder. ..

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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294165Post Green Aura »

They're presumably not ripe yet. Quince are yellow and sweet when ripe aren't they?
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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294166Post Skippy »

I would assume you are right , odsox may know more of how they should look once ripe. Wikipedia seems to say they are still hard and astringent even once ripe so i don't really know. I don't have any quince plants although i've considered getting some , but then only a few minutes walk from me are some that never get picked unless i go scrumping.

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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294167Post ina »

I remember quince being quite hard even when ripe - hence only being used cooked. But if it's an ornamental quince, it might not be edible anyway!
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Re: Help with identification please

Post: # 294168Post Skippy »

Assuming wikipedia is correct then the fruits are edible but harder and more astringent than other quinces although odsox's experience might seem to classify them as barely edible .
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaenomeles_japonica

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