Quince Tree Symbolism and Meanings

 5 min read

The quince tree symbolism is known for its many meanings, including love, joy, protection, marriage, happiness and fertility. In ancient Greece, the fruit of this tree was referred to as “golden apples”. Furthermore, the quince tree is sacred to Venus, Aphrodite, Freya, Zeus, Hera and Marian.

Carrying any part of the quince plant – seeds, leaves or wood – will protect it from energetic spiritual and physical harm. The leaves, flowers wood or fruit can also be used in spells related to love workings or handfastings.

Due to its deep-rooted mythical history, the quinces trees remain popular even today.

Symbolism:Love, joy, protection, marriage, happiness and fertility
Divine Associations:Hera, Aphrodite (Greek), Marian (Pelasgian), Venus (Roman)
Astrological Association:Venus

About Quince Trees

Quince tree flowers
Quince tree flowers

The quince is a small, white rose-pink flowered tree that originates from northern Iran and Turkestan. It grows up 20ft tall (6m) and produces fragrant fruits which are golden yellow. The leaves of the paraquat often turn mellow yellow before they fall off the tree.

Finally, the botanical name for this plant, “Cydonia”, refers to an ancient Greek city called Khania on the island of Crete which used to be well known for exporting quinces.

Practical Uses

The quince tree, popular for its fruits, has been grown since ancient times. The unique fruits are hard and sour, so they’re commonly cooked or made into preserves like jam or jelly.

Natural Healing

Quince is an excellent anti-inflammatory remedy for the digestive tract, and it can also be used to treat sore mouths, throats and nipples. Traditionally, a broth made from quince fruit has been used to treat vaginal infections and rectal inflammations.

A decoction of the seeds can be used to soothe the digestive tract, as an eye lotion, or as an ingredient in skin lotions and creams.

Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners view quince fruits as food that has warming properties and a sour taste.

In addition, it is believed to stimulate secretions from the gall bladder and pancreas, while also lowering acidity levels in the intestines.

Folklore, Myth and Symbol of Quince Trees

Quince tree fruit
Quince tree fruit

Greek Legends

The Pelasgian sea goddess Marian–whom the Greeks renamed Aphrodite–held a quince in her hand as a gesture of love. The quince remained sacred to her and came to symbolize both love and fertility.

In keeping with ancient customs, young Greek and Roman couples shared a quince at their wedding banquet to signify their union built on love.

The mythical golden apples from the story of Hercules were most likely quinces, not apples. This is because the ancient Greeks called quinces by the name chrysomelon, meaning “golden apple”.

In Greek mythology, Mother Earth gave Hera a special tree with golden apples at her wedding to Zeus.

Hera planting the tree in her Mount Atlas garden is where, every day, the sunlight’s chariot horses end their journey.

Mighty shepherd Atlas builds a wall surrounding the orchard to protect it from thieving individuals; His three daughters, Hesperides, and ever-watchful dragon Ladon are tasked with guarding duties.

Although succeeding in stealing some of the fruits, Heracles realizes that he must return what doesn’t rightfully belong to him. The sacred garden’s motif, with the central tree and dragon guardian, resembles the World Tree.

This is further reinforced by ancient Greek art portraying the Hesperides’ Tree of Stars as its fruit-bearing centerpiece.

Christian Customs

On the Balearic island of Mallorca, an ancient connection between the love goddess Marian and quince survived in a Christian custom. In the middle of the last century, Robert Graves witnessed the Feast of the Blessed Name of the Virgin Mary.

This feast is held on the first Sunday after September 12th (which corresponds with the autumn equinox on September 23rd). The villagers near Palma would carry boughs of quince and sorb apple while walking around a hill.

Jewish History

Until recently, the ethrog was believed to be a citrus fruit of some sort, but we now know this is not accurate because citrus trees had not yet been introduced from India at that time.

The golden-yellow fruit must have been a quince. Worshippers during the times of the Temple at Jerusalem would carry an ethrog in their right hand and a lulab in their left during the Feast of Tabernacles.

The lulab is a bundle of intertwined boughs from different types of trees including palm, willow and myrtle. According to English scholar Robert Graves, the ritual use of ethrog and lulab in the Feast of Tabernacles was originally taken over from Canaanites by Hebrews, along with other rites dedicated to the moon goddess.

However, because quince has erotic connotations, citrus was replaced during Babylonian exile or as part of cultural reform in 621 BCE ascribed to King Josiah.

Conclusion

The quince tree is not only a beautiful symbol of nature, but it also has a lot of meanings.

Love, joy, protection, marriage, happiness and fertility are just some of the things that the quince tree symbolizes. If you’re looking for meaning in your life, look no further than the quince tree.