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BOKE was originally a Chinese word that means “tree melon” since it has melon-like berries.

Chaemomeles japonica is indigenous to Japan and it is called KUSABOKE (= plant type BOKE) since it is a small tree (height: 30-40cm) like a plant. Chaemomeles speciosa is a deciduous tree, that is said to have been brought from China or Korea in the Heian Period (794-1191). This tree was brought as medicine since its berries are utilized as Chinese medicine.
In the Edo Period (1603-1867), BOKE was bred and cultivated as a garden or a Bonsai tree and breeders created many cultivars. They also used KUSABOKE for hybridizing BOKE cultivars, so Japanese quince cultivars are hybrids between the species at the present day.

Japanese name: BOKE; Latin name: Chaenomeles speciosa, Chaenomeles japonica
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Blooming season: March-May Height: 1-2m The ones in our garden haven’t bloomed yet.

To see photos of various species, click here.

Growing Japanese quince is popular especially in Niigata Prefecture.
This picture of the Japanese quince was taken at the satoyama in Kurokawa, Kawasaki City during our family hike last weekend

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