Double Take Quince - NC State Does it Again

Europe use to be the the hot bed of shrub breeding, but not any more. Sorry guys - but it's been relocated to Mills River in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Tom Ranney and his crew at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Darren Touchell, Tom Eaker, Joel Mowrey, Nathan Lynch, Jeremy Smith and Kevin Parrusfor are a well oiled breeding machine that continues to develop one great new plant after another.

This is the team that broke the color barrier with the introduction of the first ever pink flowered Annabelle Hydrangea - Invincibelle 'Spirit'.

Now they've developed a series of quince (Chaenomeles) that look a lot like Camellias, but much hardier, called the Double Take Series.

Double Take 'Orange Storm'

Double Take 'Pink Storm'

Double Take 'Scarlet Storm

As you can see from the images the flowers are very large and have lots of petals. The color range is blessed with deep hues of scarlet, pink and orange. To make life even better they're thornless! While quince is an old fashionrd shrub that is not as popular as it once was, I suspect these plants are going to reinvent this old time favorite, and make quince popular once again.

I love quince as it is a nice change from the typical spring flower color we get from Forsythia. The colors are rich and warm you up on a cool spring day and get you pumped about being out in your garden. These plants make a very colorful hedge. I think quince is at its best trained up a wall to show off its flowers at eye level. It's also a great cut flower and makes a very elegant show in a vase. These are very new plants, just like a lot of plants you will see on my blog, so they're not generally available at retail. There are a few mail order nurseries that have them this year, but you can expect to see them work their way into better garden centers over the next few years.

We have been trying to get them approved for Canada, but the at this time we have not had any luck with the Canadian government. Hopefully this will change soon.

What do you think?


  1. How beautiful, I love quince. I can remember them in our neighbors yards when I was a kid. A former neighbor here removed all the 'old fashioned' plants from next door about 20 years ago. Amoung them were lilac and quince. I miss them.


  2. is this .only. ornamental or does it produce usuable fruit also?

  3. They will produce the occasional fruit but this happens rarely becase the flower are so fully doubled.

  4. Oh my gosh ... this is a must have in my book!

  5. When I find them for sale, I will start to carry them in the garden center. I have one in my own garden that I believe may be 'Hime'. Though it has small flowers, it started blooming in December and still has a few flowers on it in mid-May. Perhaps this long blooming cultivar should be crossed with the Double Take series.

  6. thank you for your share

  7. From the photos it appears that the orange flower is a little more full and ruffled than the pink and especially the red one. Is this the case normally or is it just these particular flowers that were photographed that appear that way?

  8. Tim, it is just these particular flowers that were photographed that appear that way. All three Double Take Quince are very similar to each other


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