This bright orange-red, saucer-shaped blossoms is a Flowering Quince flower - Chaenomeles.
Flowering quince or Japanese quince is a thorny deciduous shrub from eastern Asia grown and appreciated in parts of Europe and North America for their striking red, white and pink flower on the bare branches in early spring.
Though related to our orchard Quince (Cydonia), these ornamental shrubs are grown only for their aesthetic value in gardens and landscaping, not for their fruits.
Some cultivars grow up to 2 m tall, but others are much smaller.
The two best known cultivated species are Chaenomeles Japonica and Chaenomeles Speciosa, both often mentioned as Japanese quince.
Chaenomeles Japonica is a dwarf or medium sized shrub, growing to only about 1 m in height and bearing bright red flowers (photo 2 & 3).
Chaenomeles speciosa is taller than Chaenomeles Japonica, usually growing to about 2 m and is known for its bright orange-red (first photo), pink or pure white spring flowers.
There are many hybrids of flowering quince offering different colored flowers; shades of scarlet, crimson, rose and mixed colors.
The fruits are edible but with an astringent taste, they are suitable for preserves and jellies, though.
Japanese quince shrubs perform best in sunny positions or part shade, they are drought-tolerant and most important, they tolerate urban environment pollution as well.
These compact, thorny shrubs are decorative as they are, standing alone in the open, as you can see in the following picture.
They are also suitable for growing along walls and in borders in which case they should be pruned back right after flowering.
Though Japanese quince has a short flowering period, you can benefit of these brightly colored flowers also in late winter by cutting some branches and placing them in a vase, indoor.
The flowers will open soon bringing a splash of vibrant color.
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