Pyrus communis, commonly called European pear or common pear, is a parent of a large number of pear cultivars grown for fruit production. It has been widely planted in North America. Most of the pears sold in supermarkets today come from varieties of this species, including such old favorites as ‘Comice’, ‘Bartlett’ and ‘Anjou’. It typically grows to 25-30’ (less frequently to 60’) tall with upright branching and pyramidal form. Ovate to elliptic glossy dark green leaves (to 4” long) have crenate to serrate margins. Foliage turns shades of red and yellow in fall. Aromatic, 5-petaled, creamy white (occasionally flushed with pale pink) flowers in corymbs appear in early spring on spur-like branchlets. Flowers give way to edible, pear-shaped fruits that ripen from mid-summer to fall. Hardy in zones 5-8.
Growing Instructions for the European Pear
The seeds have a period of dormancy. They can be planted outdoors in the fall or winter for spring germination or they can be cold stratified to simulate winter conditions and to break their dormancy at any time of the year. 1. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours. 2. Put the seeds in a ziplock bag. 3. Put the bag in the refrigerator and leave it there for 4 months. 4. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Use a sterile seed starter mix, if available. It prevents soil fungi from damaging the seeds and the seedlings. If not available, then make a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. 5. Put the soil in a pot. 6. Sow the seeds on the soil. 7. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil. 8. Water the soil so that it is moist but not wet. The seeds should start to germinate in 1 to 2 weeks. 9. When the seedlings are 1-2 years old, they can be transplanted.