None of us spoke Chinese well enough to realize we had ordered the hottest dish served in the grungy open air restarunt in Sichuan China. We should have realized something was up when all of the patrons smiled and nodded approval when we pointed and gestered to the dish on the menu board. The sensation of incredible searing pain took a couple of bites to fully register, No amount of cheap beer would wash away the burning sensation. After that debacle we explored the area and collected seeds from Chinese quince is a small deciduous tree or large shrub with a dense oval crown. It typically grows to 10-20' tall. It is perhaps best noted for its attractive form, large fruits and interesting bark. Elliptic to ovate, shiny dark green leaves (to 4 1/2" long) have finely serrated margins. Leaves turn yellow-red in fall. Cup-shaped, fragrant pink flowers (to 1 1/2" across) bloom in April-May. Flowers are followed by huge, oval fruits (quinces to 5-5" long) which ripen in fall (October) with a sweetly fragrant aroma. Fruits are edible off the tree or may be used in jams and syrups. Flakey, sycamore-like bark exfoliates into an attractive patchwork of gray, green and brown on the fluted mature trunks of this tree. Genus name comes from pseudo (false) and cydonia (common quince genus). From Latin, sinensis means Chinese. As might be expected, this Chinese quince is synonymous with and formerly known as Cydonia sinensis.