How Do Flowering Quince Do So Well In The Cold?

Q: What can you tell me about the climate where flowering quince originated? Mine was looking great before the severe cold and it came through fine, along with my camellia. How do they do so well in cold weather? 

A: Like your camellia, flowering quince, Chaenomeles speciosa, is native to Asia. We live in plant hardiness zone 7. Flowering quince is adapted to zones 4 to 9. This means they can tolerate winter low temperatures down to -20°. They do well in cold weather because in their native home they adapted to local temperatures over thousands of years. For several hundred years, plant explorers have searched for new plants in Asian environments similar to the United States. Local experts like Ozzie Johnson, Scott McMahan, and Donglin Zhang have completed several expeditions to bring back interesting and hardy plants.