pear


pear
pearlike, adj.
/pair/, n.
1. the edible fruit, typically rounded but elongated and growing smaller toward the stem, of a tree, Pyrus communis, of the rose family.
2. the tree itself.
[bef. 1000; ME pe(e)re, OE peru < LL pira, fem. sing. use of pl. of L of pirum (neut.) pear]

* * *

Any of several species of trees of the genus Pyrus, especially P. communis, of the rose family, which is one of the most important fruit trees in the world and is cultivated in all temperate-zone countries of both hemispheres.

The thousands of varieties include Bartlett (by far the most widely grown), Beurre Bosc, and Beurre d'Anjou. In the U.S., much of the crop is canned; in Europe, pears are more commonly eaten fresh or used for perry (fermented pear juice). The tree is taller and more upright than the apple tree; pear fruits are sweeter and softer than apples. Hard cells (grit, or stone cells) dot the flesh.

Pear (Pyrus communis)

Grant Heilman

* * *

▪ tree and fruit
 any of several species of the genus Pyrus, especially Pyrus communis, of the rose family (Rosaceae), which is one of the most important fruit trees of the world and is cultivated in all temperate-zone countries of both hemispheres.

      The pear tree is broad-headed and up to 13 m (43 feet) high at maturity; it is taller and more upright than the apple tree. The roundish to oval, leathery leaves, somewhat wedge-shaped at their bases, appear about the same time as the flowers, which are about 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide and usually white. The pear flower, similar to that of the apple, differs in that the bases of the five styles are separated. Nonfruiting varieties of pear, such as the Bradford pear, are grown as ornamentals.

      Pears are generally sweeter and of softer texture than apples. The fruit is distinguished by the presence of hard cells in the flesh, the so-called grit, or stone cells. In general, pear fruits are elongate, being narrow at the stem end and broader at the opposite end, although some types are apple-shaped.

      The common pear, probably of European origin, has been cultivated since long before the Christian era. Thousands of varieties have been bred and named since ancient times in Europe alone. The pear was introduced into the New World by British and other Europeans as soon as the colonies were established. Also at an early date, Spanish missionaries carried the fruit to Mexico and California.

      The pear is propagated by budding or grafting onto a rootstock. Many are grafted on seedling pears, usually of Pyrus communis origin. In Europe the main rootstock used is quince, which produces a dwarfed tree that fruits at an earlier age than most of the trees on pear rootstocks.

      Pear trees are relatively long-lived (50 to 75 years) and may reach considerable size unless carefully trained and pruned. Within four to seven years of setting out, the tree begins to bear satisfactorily; at age 20 to 25 it should yield 25 to 45 bushels of fruit.

      The pear is commercially the second most important of the world's deciduous fruit trees, exceeded only by the apple. In the United States, however, the pear ranks third, after the apple and peach.

      In most pear-growing countries of the world outside Asia, by far the most widely grown pear variety is Williams' Bon Chrétien, known in America as Bartlett. In the United States and Canada, varieties such as Beurre Bosc, Beurre d'Anjou, and Winter Nelis are grown. A highly popular variety in England and The Netherlands is Conference and in Italy, after Williams', are Curato, Coscia, and Passe Crassane, the last named also being popular in France. The pear often acclaimed as having the finest flavour and texture is Doyenné du Comice, first produced in France in 1849. In Asian countries the pear crop comprises primarily local varieties of native species.

      China is the world's leading pear producer, followed by Italy and the United States. Sizable quantities are also produced by Spain, Japan, Turkey, Germany, France, Argentina, South Africa, South Korea, and Australia.

      In the United States, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia, a large percentage of the crop is used for canning. In Europe, canning is secondary to the use of pears for desserts and for perry (fermented pear juice).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pear — (p[^a]r), n. [OE. pere, AS. peru, L. pirum: cf. F. poire. Cf. {Perry}.] (Bot.) The fleshy pome, or fruit, of a rosaceous tree ({Pyrus communis}), cultivated in many varieties in temperate climates; also, the tree which bears this fruit. See {Pear …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • PEAR — ? Información general Última versión estable 1.7.2 17 de mayo, 2008 Género ? …   Wikipedia Español

  • PEAR — (pour PHP Extension and Application Repository) est une collection de bibliothèques PHP. C est aussi une application qui permet de gérer les bibliothèques (installer ou mettre à jour une bibliothèque). On peut comparer ce système avec les gems de …   Wikipédia en Français

  • PEAR — (Heb. אַגָּס, mishnaic), Pyrus communis. Although it is first mentioned in rabbinic literature this does not necessarily mean that the pear was not grown in Ereẓ Israel in biblical times. A member of the same genus, the Syrian pear Pyrus syriaca… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • pear — ► NOUN ▪ a yellowish green or brownish green edible fruit, narrow at the stalk and wider towards the tip. ● go pear shaped Cf. ↑go pear shaped ORIGIN Old English, from Latin pirum …   English terms dictionary

  • pear — [ per ] noun count or uncount a fruit that is smaller toward the stem end, is white inside, and has yellow, green, or brown skin. It grows on a pear tree …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • pear — O.E. pere, peru, common W.Gmc. (Cf. M.Du., M.L.G. pere, Du. peer), from V.L. *pira, fem. sing. of L. pira, pl. of pirum pear, a loan word from an unknown source …   Etymology dictionary

  • pear — [per] n. [ME pere < OE peru < VL * pira < L pl. of pirum, pear, akin to Gr apion: of pre Gr Mediterranean orig.] 1. a tree (Pyrus communis) of the rose family, with glossy leaves and greenish, brown, or reddish fruit 2. the soft, juicy… …   English World dictionary

  • Pêâr — Pêâr(s) pop. montagnarde du Cambodge (chaîne des Cardamomes). De parler môn khmer, ils ont conservé leurs religions traditionnelles …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Pear — Pear,   Porr, Bergvolk in West Kambodscha, an den Nordhängen des Kardamomgebirges, etwa 10 000 Angehörige. Sie treiben Brandrodungsfeldbau (Reis) und wohnen in weit verstreuten, aus mehreren Gehöften bestehenden Siedlungen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • pear — S3 [peə US per] n [Date: 1000 1100; : Latin; Origin: pirum] a sweet juicy fruit that has a round base and is thinner near the top, or the tree that produces this fruit …   Dictionary of contemporary English


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.