Wild Pear Pyrus communis L.

Rosaceae

The wild pear is one of the species that have given rise to the many garden varieties cultivated for their sweet, succulent fruit. It is a native of southern, central and western Europe, but, since ancient times, has been cultivated in the vicinity of human habitations. A comparatively small tree, it grows to a height of 10 to 20 metres, and develops a dome-like crown with erect branches and thorny twigs. The bark is furrowed in squares. The alternate leaves have a stalk almost as long as the blade. The abundantly borne white flowers appear in April and early May. The rounded fruit is borne on long stalks, and is yellow-green when ripe. The wild pear has deep roots and favours light, deep soils. It needs a warmer climate than the apple, and usually grows on the margins of forests and on sun-warmed slopes up to an elevation of 400 to 500 metres. It may attain an age of 200 to 250 years. The wood is hard, fine-grained with a pink tinge, and is used to make furniture. The fruit is eaten by birds and forest animals. The leaves of some trees turn bright red in autumn.

Leaves: Round-ovate, 2—5 cm long, with a finely serrate margin and long stalks.

Flowers: White with red-purple anthers. Fruit-: 2—4 cm long, round to oval, yellow-green, long-stalked. Seed: Black, drop-shaped.

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