I was six when I started walking to school. One particular thing I remember from those walks is a small shrub in a park that my mother called French bahar. Bahar is the word for spring blossoms of fruit trees in Turkish.
At a much older age I saw another one of these shrubs and I was told that it was called Japanese bahar. This was closer to the truth. I found out that this plant is Chenomeles Japonica. I am surprised to learn that it also bears fruit.
Photograph: Tülay Karayazgan
I learn that the fruit is very hard and astringent and very unpleasant to eat raw. They can be used for making liqueurs and marmalade and preserves.
Chenomeles Japonica is commonly called Japanese quince. Chaenomeles is a genus of three species of deciduous spiny shrubs, usually 1–3 m tall, in the family Rosaceae. They are native to eastern Asia in Japan, China and Korea. These plants are related to the quince (Cydonia oblonga) and the Chinese quince (Pseudocydonia sinensis).
C. japonica blooms from February to April before the leaves appear and the blossoms are a rich golden red. The leaves are bronze-red when they start forming, turning green as they grow to their full size. The fruit is yellow and they resemble small quinces.
I will look forward to seeing the fruit of the shrub in the picture one day.