I would like to add one or more japanese quinces (in particular, Chaenomeles x superba) to my garden.

There are two interesting cultivars that are available where I live: 'Nicoline' and 'Crimson and Gold'. They are very similar, but I can't figure out what the exact difference is. (I am interested in knowing, let's say, exact flower color, habit, favorite position, attractiveness to birds,... differences) Could you perhaps help me?


The primary difference is spread of the shrub, with Nicoline only spreading up to 1.5 metres, and Crimson and Gold up to 2.5 metres, though the height (at up to 1.5m) is the same. Otherwise, the names clearly refer to the appearance of the flowers; 'Crimson and Gold' has crimson flowers with noticeable yellow stamens, whereas 'Nicoline' has scarlet flowers with much less noticeable stamens. Description of the fruits is similar - yellow and fragrant.



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  • Thanks, I guess you based the answer on RHS site, but the problem is that if you go to another site, and compare their data, you get different info (lets say, habit difference). I don't seem to be able to see a consistent answer to my question on such sites... – VividD Nov 3 '17 at 13:21
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    :@VividD - if the other sites you're looking at are sellers, you can't rely on their information - they may be quoting a height and spread after 5 years, 10 years, or ultimately, without making that clear. That is why I linked to the RHS, a classic horticultural reference, which is a much more reliable source than sales or blog sites or non horticultural body sites, although of course, not all plants achieve the height and spread listed - depends on the conditions. Ultimately, these two varieties are very similar, so choose the one you prefer in terms of flower form, most are pruned anyway. – Bamboo Nov 3 '17 at 15:08
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    Arnold Arboretum near Chicago lists 'Crimson and Gold' as a dwarf single-flowered form and Nicoline as a semi-double form, but not dwarf, which seems to be the opposite of Bamboo's cited measurements. I'd go by the flower form rather than spread, myself. Arnold also lists Nicoline as being the same cultivar as Ulidia. Both 'C and G' and 'Nicoline' are very old cultivars, so you should be able to find other horticultural sources for them. Arnold Arboretum – Jurp Nov 4 '17 at 0:32
  • @Jurp - not the opposite - measurements for Nicoline given above state its spread is a metre less than Crimson and Gold - its debatable whether that makes it a 'dwarf' though! – Bamboo Nov 4 '17 at 11:02
  • Hi Bamboo - My reading comprehension must not be what it used to be - I thought I read the 2.5 meters as height when you clearly wrote "spread". Ah well, it sucks to get old... – Jurp Nov 4 '17 at 22:32

There is a good article on japanese quince cultivars in Horticulture Week:


'Nicoline' and 'Crimson and Gold' are both mentioned. They are very similar, perhaps the main difference is that 'Nicoline' has larger flowers.

For reference, following cultivars are described in the article:

  • C. japonica 'Cido'
  • C. japonica 'Orange Beauty'
  • C. japonica 'Sargentii'
  • C. 'John Pilcher'
  • C. speciosa 'Contorta'
  • C. speciosa 'Eximia'
  • C. speciosa 'Falconnet Charlet'
  • C. speciosa 'Friesdorfer'
  • C. speciosa 'Geisha Girl'
  • C. speciosa 'Grayshott Salmon'
  • C. speciosa 'Kinshiden'
  • C. speciosa 'Madame Butterfly'
  • C. speciosa 'Moerloosei'
  • C. speciosa 'Nivalis'
  • C. speciosa 'Port Eliot'
  • C. speciosa 'Simonii'
  • C. speciosa 'Snow'
  • C. speciosa 'Toyo-Nishiki'
  • C. speciosa 'Yukigoten'
  • C. x superba 'Boule de Feu'
  • C. x superba 'Cameo'
  • C. x superba 'Crimson and Gold'
  • C. x superba 'Fire Dance'
  • C. x superba 'Jet Trail'
  • C. x superba 'Knap Hill Scarlet'
  • C. x superba 'Lemon and Lime'
  • C. x superba 'Nicoline'
  • C. x superba 'Pink Lady'
  • C. x superba 'Rowallane'
  • C. x superba 'Tortuosa'
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