Wild Pear
(Pyrus communis)
Simple
Roundish
Alternate
Toothed
leaves <6 cm

leaves

Winter twig
Winter twig

branch

flowers

flowers

fruits

distribution map

The alternate leaves, 2.5-6 cm long, are almost round, except for a distinct small point at the tip. The margins are finely toothed or toothless. The young leaves are hairy, especially beneath, but old leaves are hairless. The leaf-stalks are often as long as the leaves.

ID check

Wild Pear is a deciduous large shrub or small tree, up to 15 m tall, with a distinctive grey or brown bark, which breaks up into small rectangular plates. It was probably introduced to Britain and subsequently escaped to become established, usually as isolated specimens, in woods and hedges.

The 5-petalled white flowers open in April and have purple anthers (Crab Apple flowers are pink with yellow anthers).

Young stems are grey-brown and often thorny below.

The small, hard, gritty pears do not ripen until November.

Facts

  • The pale, pinky-brown wood is used for instrument-making, carving, turning and for veneers.

  • The root stock is used to graft on cultivated varieties, which produce edible desert fruit.

  • Wild pears were probably introduced to Europe from W. Asia by the Greeks and may have reached Britain with the Romans

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