Factsheet F17: Quince – Cydonia oblonga
The quince is now the only member of the genus Cydonia, the three shrubby quinces previously included are now classified in Chaenomeles. Quince has previously been classified as Pyrus cydonia and Cydonia vulgaris.
The native region of the quince is not precisely known, but it is probably wild only in parts of Asia including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkestan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. It has been cultivated in Mediterranean regions for millennia and has become naturalised in many parts; the fruit was highly regarded by the Greeks and Romans, and was the golden apple that Paris awarded to Aphrodite as a symbol of love, marriage and fertility. It is still an important fruit crop in its native region and in South America (Argentina produces 20,000 tons annually).