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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 479. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/22/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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2. Pyrus communis L. (pear)

Pl. 538 a; Map 2484

Plants trees to 15 m tall, usually at least somewhat thorny. Twigs glabrous or nearly so, the winter buds relatively small, the scales glabrous but hairy along the margins. Petioles 15–40 mm, moderately to densely hairy when young, becoming glabrous at maturity. Leaf blades 4–8 cm long, elliptic to ovate or broadly ovate, mostly short-tapered to a sharply pointed tip, broadly angled to rounded or shallowly cordate at the base, the margins finely and bluntly toothed, the surfaces somewhat cobwebby-hairy during development, glabrous and shiny at maturity, green to dark green. Inflorescences short, broad, dome-shaped racemes with 4–9 flowers. Sepals 6–9 mm long, triangular, the margins usually with a narrow, pale band and slightly uneven, the upper surface moderately to densely hairy, at least toward the base, the undersurface glabrous or with patches of hair basally where adjacent sepals adjoin, persistent at fruiting. Petals 10–15 mm long, white. Styles usually 5. Fruits (2–)3–8(–16) cm long, ovoid, obovoid, or pear-shaped, the surface yellowish green, brown, or red, with or without pale dots. Seeds 5–10. 2n=34. April–May.

Introduced, uncommon, mostly in the eastern half of the state (cultigen of European or Asian origin, introduced widely in the U.S. [except for some of the northern Plains states]; Canada). Banks of streams, bottomland forests, and mesic upland forests; also pastures, old fields, old homesites, railroads, roadsides, and disturbed areas.

Pears are a very old fruit crop. Escaped plants usually do not breed true to the parental tree, producing bitter, relatively inedible fruits.



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