ANJOU (Buerre d'Anjou) High quality winter pear from 19th century France. More tolerant of fire blight and low temperatures than Bartlett. Precocious and Productive. Large green fruit ripens to greenish yellow in storage.
AURORA Exceptionally high quality -- maybe the world's best. This is a dessert pear that has large, regular fruit. Skin is bright yellow, lightly overlaid with a beautiful russet, frequently blushed. Keeps well in storage until December. Flesh is smooth, melting, and juicy, with a sweet aromatic flavor. The tree is vigorous and spreading. The only problem with Aurora is its susceptiblity to fireblight. From the Marguerite Marillard x Bartlett cross; introduced by the Geneva station in 1960.
BARTLETT This is the best known pear in the world, most often under synonyms 'Williams' and 'Williams Bon Chreitien'. Discovered about 1770 in England. The fruit has a very good, distinctive flavor and a smooth, juicy texture - excellent for canning or for marketing fresh. Its skin is yellow and the fruit is medium to large, pyriform in shape. It is susceptible to fireblight and is self-unfruitful, so keep these facts in mind when planning your orchard layout.
BEURRE GIFFARD Flesh: white, tender, and juicy, with a sprightly, vinous flavor, and somewhat of a spicy perfume. These need to be picked when still green as they ripen from the inside out. The medium to large fruits, up to 2½ inches long, ripen to yellow-green. They have red blushing and dots. Considered a premium quality pear, this is very aromatic. It is recommended for dessert and eating fresh.
BLAKE'S PRIDE The latest introduction from the USDA pear breeding program, Blake's Pride is blight-resistant.
BOSC This is an old variety that ripens late, a month after Bartlett. The fruit is large with an attractive russet over a dark yellow background. The flesh is white-tinged yellow, slightly granular, melting, tender, very juicy, and aromatic. Very high quality. Tree is upright, hardy and productive; blight-susceptible.
CHATEAU ROYALE Medium-small, lightly russeted fruit. Coarse, sweet flesh.
COLD SNAP (also known as Kanata or Harovin Sundown). An attractive late-season fresh market pear with good storage capability. It is highly productive with no biennial bearing. The tree has excellent resistance to fire blight.
CONCORDE Doyenne du Comice x Conference. Largish, tapering pear with a pink blush on sun side and some russetting. Aromatic, sweet flavor and juicy. Concorde is good for eating even before the flesh softens.
CONFERENCE England, 1800's. Fruit is largish and enlongated. Yellow skin with partial russet. Juicy and sweet. Good fireblight resistance. Can be used as a pollinator and is typically self-fertile.
DAVE'S DELIGHT Released in 1990 from the Agriculture Canada breeding program in Nova Scotia. Beierschmidt x Bartlett selection made by Dr. Dave Crowe. Fine eating quality, equal to or better than Bartlett; aromatic. Yellow skin, washed with bright red. Early maturing. Good resistance to core breakdown. Moderately precocious and productive.
DANA'S HOVEY (WINTER SECKEL) Possible seedling of Seckel (AKA Winter Seckel), MA 1850's. Harvest in October; will store well through December. Very sweet, aromatic flavor. Self sterile.
DAWN A very good quality dessert pear, ripening about 10 days after Bartlett. Fruit slightly smaller than Bartlett; aromatic, spicy and juicy; almost free of grit cells. Introduced by USDA breeders in 1960 from the Michigan 437 (Barseck x Bartlett) x Comice cross. Fire blight susceptibility similar to Bartlett.
EARLY MORETTINI (Butirra Precoce Morettina) Cascia X Bartlett, from an Italian breeding program; introduced in 1956. Fruit large, greenish yellow with red blush; juicy and sweet. Ripens about 2-1/2 weeks before Bartlett. Can be picked and marketed without storage and ripening period. Blight susceptible. Productive.
FLEMISH BEAUTY Antique introduced in Belgium about 1810 by van Mons. Most winter-hardy pear in our list -- hardy to -40F. Excellent dessert quality--aromatic, well-balanced, rich flavor. Large, roundish fruit, sometimes pear-shaped. Blight susceptible. Precocious and productive. Early ripening. Blight susceptible.
GEM A European pear but can be consumed fresh at harvest, it has a crisp, juicy texture and sweet, but mild flavor more similar to an Asian pear than a European pear. Following cold storage and ripening at room temperature the fruit softens to about three pounds firmness and develops typical pear flavors, though it is not a melting, dessert-type pear.
GENERAL LeCLERC Recent French introduction. Very good flavor. Large fruit. Blight susceptible.
GORHAM A Bartlett-type that matures 10 to 12 days later. Much better keeper than Bartlett. Bright yellow skin with slight russet around stem. Somewhat more tolerant of fireblight than Bartlett. Bartlett x Josephine Malines.
HARROW CRISP Blight resistant Canadian pear. It is a very attractive pear with red blush on smooth yellow skin. The cream-white flesh is smooth, grit-free and firm even when fully ripe, with a mild sweet flavour.
HARROW DELIGHT From the Agriculture Canada station at Harrow, this is a high-quality, early, fresh market pear with excellent blight resistance. Also resistant to pear scab. Harvest about 10 days before Bartlett. Fruit is medium size and similar to Bartlett in appearance with excellent flavor and smooth flesh. Ground color is yellow with a red blush. Early bearing.
HARROW GOLD Blight resistant Canadian pear. An attractive yellow fruit, with good size (larger than Harvest Queen, similar in size to Bartlett), smooth skin, fine texture, very good flavour with a good balance between sweetness and acidity, and exceptionally juicy.
HARROW SWEET (HW-609) Blight-resistant release from Agriculture Canada. Ripens about 3-1/2 weeks after Bartlett; good storage till nearly Christmas. Excellent flavor; sweet and juicy. Precocious and productive; usually requires heavy thinning.
HARVEST QUEEN Fruit of this Harrow introduction is similar to Bartlett but slightly smaller; the flavor and flesh are almost identical but even fewer grit cells than Bartlett. It ripens 5 or 6 days earlier. Productive. If you have a good market for Bartlett, Harvest Queen could be very valuable. Earlier and MUCH more blight resistant. Michigan 572 x Bartlett. Cross-compatible with most varieties, but not with Bartlett.
HIGHLAND. This recent introduction from the Geneva pear breeding program is unusually high quality. Bartlett x Comice. Fruit large, bright yellow with heavy russet overlay. Excellent storage capability. Ripens about 3 weeks after Bartlett. Blight susceptible.
HOOD A low-chilling, fireblight-resistant pear that can be grown where warm climate precludes culture of higher quality varieties. This Asian x European interspecific hybrid has been grown successfully in Florida and Southern California. Fruit large; mild flavor; susceptible to core breakdown if stored. Fire blight-resistant.
KALLE (RED CLAPP'S FAVORITE) Skin is large, dark reddish-purple, developing weeks before fruit is mature. Short shelf life. Kalle harvest is about 2 weeks before Bartlett. Tree is semi-compact. Blight susceptible.
KIEFFER Back a hundred years ago, my great-granddad planted 20 acres of Kieffers in Southern Illinois. Because it is so blight resistant, it has been grown more in the Southern states than any other variety. Kieffer comes from a cross between the Asian sand pear and Bartlett, introduced by Peter Kieffer in 1863. Kieffer is NOT a dessert pear, to be peeled and eaten out-of-hand. Yellow skin with prominent rusty lenticels. Lots of grit cells round core. Harvest about a month later than Bartlett. Kieffer makes an outstanding canned product-- better than Bartlett because it retains its firmness. Precocious and productive.
LUSCIOUS Adapted to much of the northern Great Plains; introduced in 1973 by the South Dakota AES from the SD E31 x Ewart cross. Medium size fruit; rich yellow skin; flavor similar to Bartlett. Ripens 2 weeks after Bartlett.
MAGNESS This pear was released by the USDA in 1968 as a very high quality dessert pear that will survive under heavy fireblight pressure. Sometimes tardy to start bearing, but the fruit quality makes up for the light early cropping (branch-spreading will significantly help). Mature trees are productive if good pollination is provided. Magness ripens a week after Bartlett. Excellent keeper. Seckel x Comice.
MADAME BOUTANT This old French pear is large, highly flavored, productive. Ripens about 10 days after Bartlett.
MAXINE A fire blight-resistant Bartlett-type. Very good quality; firm, crisp, juicy; snow-white flesh with no grit cells. Precocious and productive. Found in Ohio and introduced in 1845.
MOONGLOW Excellent flavor; smooth flesh with almost no grit cells. Ripens about a week before Bartlett. Medium-large. Good keeper; storage of 6 to 8 weeks required to develop full flavor. Precocious and productive. Very resistant to fire blight. Introduced by USDA in 1960 from the Mich. 436 x Roi Charles de Wurtemburg cross.
PARAGON Oregon State University breeding program. Comice x red Bartlett. Ordinary looking, Bartlett-like pear with extraordinary flavor. Recieves highest overall flavor rating at Sorec annual pear tasting.
PARKER Open-pollinated seedling of a Manchurian cultivar. Medium to large fruit, yellow with red blush, fine-grained, tender, juicy. Ripe in mid-September. Tree is susceptible to fire blight and very cold hardy, almost to -50 F.
PATTEN Introduced by Iowa State in 1922; from the cross Orel 15 x Anjou. Very winter hardy, much more so than Bartlett. Excellent dessert quality if picked week before ripe and ripened off the tree. Large, juicy fruit.
POTOMAC This pear was released by USDA in 1993; from the Moonglow X Anjou cross. The highest quality fireblight resistant variety available. The skin is light green and glossy and the flesh is moderately fine with a flavor similar to Anjou. Ripens two weeks after Bartlett; keeps 8-10 weeks in refrigerated storage.
REGAL RED COMICE A red sport of Comice, with the same high quality as its parent -- the flavor standard. Excellent storage pear. Considerable fireblight tolerance. Foliage quite dark green. Quince compatible.
REIMER RED From a cross of Comice x Max Red Bartlett, made by Frank Reimer of Oregon State. Introduced in 1961. Large fruit. Late maturing, 3 weeks after Bartlett; high quality. Red blush over most of surface.
RESCUE Large to very large fruit, usally pyriform and symmetrical. Often orange-red blush on yellow ground color. Smooth, juicy flesh; mild flavo similar to Clapp's. Matures a week after Bartlett. Annual production. Cross-compatible with Bartlett; blooms 3 days after Bartlett.
ROGUE RED Very high quality Oregon State introduction. Comice x (Seckel x Farmingdale Sdlg. 122); introduced in 1969. Late ripening; very good winter keeper. Red skin. Tree unusually upright; annual bearing; moderately productive. Pollinated by Bosc, Bartlett and Comice. Good tolerance to blight and pear scab. Quince compatible.
ROMANIAN Originally bred in Romania, collected from Serbia and Montenegro. Fruit is small & yellow and matures in mid September, highly prized for the making of brandy.
ROSEMARIE New from South Africa. Ripening a few days before Bartlett, Rosemarie has excellent flavor; slightly smaller than Bartlett.
SECKEL A tiny, gourmet pear, typically only about 1.5 inches in diameter. Very sweet -- a "sugar pear". Aromatic. Fruit is lightly russetted, red blush. Grower-friendly, semi-dwarf tree. Resistant to fireblight.
SHELDON Medium-large, green fruit, usually symetrical; ripens to light gold. Spicy, sweet flavor; juicy. Good keeper. October ripening.
SHENANDOAH From the USDA breeding program, this is the latest introduction.This luscious new pear will appeal to consumers who enjoy rich-tasting fruit, because its higher-than-average acidity gives it a snappy flavor. Shenandoah's relatively high acidity is balanced with a high level of sugars that makes it sweet. Shenandoah stores well--if properly chilled--for about four months. Shenandoah matures in September, about four weeks after the widely grown Bartlett variety.
SUMMERCRISP Medium-large fruit ripening in mid-August. Very winter-hardy; chance seedling found in Minnesota in 1933. Probably Pyrus communis X P. ussuriensis cross. Sweet, crisp flesh, almost like an Asian pear; very low acid. Annually productive; tolerant to fire blight.
SUNRISE Juicy, aromatic and sweet. This hardy tree produces beautiful yellow pears with a slight blush. Fruit is good for eating fresh or making desserts. Also stores well, lasting 2-3 months in the refrigerator. Resistant to fireblight. Ripens in early to mid August.
UBILEEN Large pear from Bulgaria with aromatic, fine-textured, buttery flesh. Ripens about a month before Bartlett (early to mid July) with an attractive blush. Disease resistant. Hardy to Zone 5.
WARREN A high quality pear from the Deep South, hardy enough to survive in the North. Introduced by T. O. Warren in 1976. Fruit medium-large, pale yellow; high dessert quality; sweet and very juicy, close to Comice quality. Tolerant to fire blight and foliar diseases. Possibly self-fruitful. Much better keeper than Bartlett.