Rose Allies

Lamarck's Juneberry European Firethorn Asian Firethorn Japanese Flowering Quince

What are they?

While all these species have five-petalled flowers and fleshy fruits that are a good indicator that they are in the rose family (Rosaceae), this is otherwise a sort of 'bin end lot' of smaller groups of the rose family. These are all non-native, shrubs or small trees that are grown for ornament in gardens for either their attractive flowers or their copious berries - or in some cases both.

Where are they found?

These plants all originate as garden ornamentals and may occasionally be found where persisting from original plantings or possibly sometimes from bird-sown berries. They may appear on roadsides, rough ground, in hedgerows or in open, heathy or grassy places such as commons and suburban lanes. Most of these species are rare in the wider countryside but may often be encountered in parks or municipal plantings.

Identification

This is a relatively small group, but some attention to detail is required to differentiate the various Pyracanthas from each other and so, too the flowering-quinces. Details are given in the individual species texts. Note that other cultivated varieties that have not formally been recorded for East Anglia probably also occur in the wider countryside, but most floras are poor on covering such plants and their identity may be currently be impossible to determine.



European Firethorn      Pyracantha coccinea

Introduced from mainland Europe. Commonly used in municipal plantings though rarely escaping into the wider countryside. Flowers May to June. A dense, thorny, evergreen shrub. Leaves 2-4cm in length, rather variable in shape but typically with regularly-toothed (crenate) margins and coming to an acute point at the tip. Leaf stalk downy. Flowers in large trusses, followed by orange-red fruits that are rounded with a slightly flattened top.

European Firethorn European Firethorn European Firethorn
Leaf
Leaf margin
Leaf stalk
European Firethorn European Firethorn European Firethorn
Fruits
Fruits
Fruit close up


Asian Firethorn      Pyracantha rogersiana

Introduced from China. Commonly used in municipal plantings though rarely escaping into the wider countryside. Flowers May to June. A dense, thorny, evergreen shrub. Leaves 1.8-3.5cm in length, rather variable in shape but typically with irregularly-toothed margins and a rounded tip with a spike-like tip. Leaf stalk smooth. Flowers in large trusses, followed by orange fruits that are clearly flattened at top and bottom (oblate).

Asian Firethorn Asian Firethorn Asian Firethorn Asian Firethorn
Habit
Flowers
Leaf margin
Leaf stalk
Asian Firethorn Asian Firethorn
Fruits
Fruit close up


Chinese Flowering Quince      Chaenomeles speciosa

Introduced from East Asia. Popular as a garden plant and occasionally appearing from garden waste or in rough ground but seldom persisting. Flowers February to May. An open, thorny, deciduous shrub, often spreading by suckers or creeping growths. Leaves 4-10cm in length with fine, sharp teeth. Shoots smooth and hairless. Flowers in small clusters, showy, typically red but sometimes white. Fruits like small apples, green with pale spots, becoming yellowish.

Chinese Flowering Quince Chinese Flowering Quince Chinese Flowering Quince Chinese Flowering Quince
Flower
Flowers
Leaf
Leaf stipules
Chinese Flowering Quince Chinese Flowering Quince
Fruit
Winter bud


Japanese Flowering Quince      Chaenomeles japonica

Introduced from Japan. Popular as a garden plant and occasionally appearing from garden waste or in rough ground but seldom persisting. Flowers March to early May. An open, thorny, deciduous shrub, often spreading by suckers or creeping growths. Leaves 2.5-6cm in length with coarse teeth. Young shoots downy, older shoots rough. Flowers in small clusters, showy and often crowding the branches, typically orange-pink or salmon. Fruits like small apples, green with pale spots, becoming yellowish.

Japanese Flowering Quince Japanese Flowering Quince Japanese Flowering Quince Japanese Flowering Quince
Flower
Flowers
Young stem downy
Leaf stipule
Japanese Flowering Quince Japanese Flowering Quince
Winter bud
Winter twig


Lamarck's Juneberry      Amelanchier lamarckii

Introduced from North America. Uncommon, but occasionally found on heaths and grassy places where perhaps bird-sown. Flowers March to May. A deciduous shrub or multistemmed tree, to 10m in height but often less. Leaves thin, 4-8cm in length, strongly coppery or purplish when first opening. Flowers in upright, open trusses, opening with the leaves. The bark has distinctive, dark, vertical wavy lines.

Lamarck's Juneberry Lamarck's Juneberry Lamarck's Juneberry
Habit
Flowers
Leaf
Lamarck's Juneberry Lamarck's Juneberry Lamarck's Juneberry Lamarck's Juneberry
Fruits
Fruits
Winter bud
Bark