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The Wild Pear

UK Garden Centre - Information about the Wild Pear tree

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Family Rosaceae
Pyrus cammunis

The Wild Pear is regarded as more probably a species originally introduced by man, and has maintained its hold upon the new land. Upon this assumption it is probable that the introduced specimens were already somewhat cultivated, but when they became wild they reverted to the original condition of the species.
It is a small tree, from twenty to sixty feet in height, of somewhat pyramidal form. The twigs, which are usually of a drooping tendency, are also much given to ending in spines.
The leaves are toothed, oval in shape, with blunt-toothed edges, and downy on the lower surface. Along the new shoots they are arranged alternately on opposite sides, but on shoots a year old they are produced in clusters.
The flowers, about an inch across, are white and clustered in corymbs of five to twelve. They appear in April and May, and are of the Wild Rose type. There are numerous stamens, three to five styles, which ripen before the stamens, five petals, and the calyx with a five-lobed mouth, representing the five sepals.
When the flower opens it is ready for fertilization, but as the stamens of that flower are not yet mature this can only be accomplished by pollen brought by the bees from other flowers. The effect of pollination is to cause special vegetative activity in the neighbourhood of the ovary, resulting in the thickening of the flesh of the calyx-tube around it, until it has become the characteristic pear-shape, an inch or two in length.
The fruit is green until about November, when it turns yellow. It is too harsh a character to be fit for eating.
The Pear is a long-lived tree, growing singly or in small groups on dry plains. It attains a height of about fifty feet in thirty years, and its girth may then be three or four feet. The timber is fine-grained, strong, and heavy, with a reddish tinge.


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