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Pear identification - Any ideas - This will stump you?

This is a pear that a friend has come across, and I cannot find for her what the name is. The tree has been growing up the side of an old house, probably built circa 1900. The tree grows up to the roof, so it is probably on its own roots or a pear seedling.

It is big nearly 600g, ripens beginning of October and stores for 2 or 3 weeks. In the early days the owners used to net each pear up on the tree and tie them up to the trunk, as they are just too heavy.

The flavour of the fruit is very nice and sweet, it is buttery with no grit.

The heaviest Brogdale lists is Merton Royal at 423g
Comice at 442g, Jeanne d'Arc (LA) False) = Pitmaston Duchess at 465g

I shall plump for either Comice, or Pitmaston Duchess as both turns yellow when ripe. but Pitmaston Duchess has the weight.


I wonder if the size would be greater because of its position against the house wall?

I'd start by looking in Joan Morgan's Book of Pears which is now available as an ebook too

im very tempted to find a suitable carry on quote but instead i will just congratulate your friend for having such a lovely tree.

no idea what it is but i would be interested in some grafting wands once i have found a suitable volunteer to be nursery person for the babies.

That would be a very gigantic and overweight Comice. I was thinking Pitmaston Duchess too, after looking at Robert Hogg's Fruit Manual, no pictures in that though. Scotts 1961 catalogue says 'A very large fruit of good quality when ripened well. Extremely vigorous making a tall, handsome tree. Subject to scab. Good for cooking. Pollinators Winter Nelis and Doyenne du Comice.
I've got several more detailed pear books but I can't get to them right now - golly, that Joan Morgan book is a bit pricey in real world form, isn't it?

Definitely not Comice (wrong shape and size), I've got something very similar but no idea what variety (labels have mostly dropped off now), could be a Laxtons something (I've got quite a few).

I'd be inclined to say Pitmaston Duchess too, as I've seen some show specimens that are pretty hefty.

Another variety that can be on the large side is Catillac, but that's even rarer.

here's the Pitmaston Duchess illustration from Jim Arbury's book Pears. Its printed on thin paper so there's a bit of bleedthrough from the diagram on the reverse. It looks pretty close to me. Leaves should be dark red by now according to the text. As its a triploid the seeds will probably be small.

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