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.