‘Chojubai’ Quince—Diminutive Jewels

Michael Hagedorn

This unassuming dwarf quince can steal your heart. There are many who have gone to Japan for the spectacular pines, junipers, and maples, only to discover the quiet but memorable Chojubai. Those ‘many’ included a few friends of mine, and myself. This post is a little longer than most because Chojubai is so little known in the West, and, frankly, I think it deserves better. Also, waiting for you at at the end of this long post is a question…

A well-known root-over-rock Japanese flowering quince ‘Chojubai’. 45 cm high

Fairly typical of the multiple-trunk old Chojubai now seen in Japan. 33 cm high

Chaenomelesjaponica ‘Chojubai’ is a cultivar of the comparatively coarse Japanese flowering quince. Few plants for bonsai can match its contrasting qualities: Idiosyncratic, craggy branching and twigging, with rough older bark, adorned almost contradictorily with glowing ruby flowers. They flower mostly when out of leaf, in winter…

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