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Pyrus

Ornamental Pear
Rosaceae
Deciduous, Evergreen, Trees

Grown for their profuse late-winter or early-spring show of white flowers and their glossy, attractive leaves. Not at their best in shallow soils but otherwise unfussy about soil, even growing well in heavy clay. Most are subject to fireblight.

Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’
Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’

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Pyrus calleryana

To 50 ft. tall and wide,with strong horizontal branching pattern; young growth is thorny. Broadly oval, scallop-edged, leathery, 1/2 –3-in.-long leaves are glossy dark green, turning rich purplish red in fall. Blooms very early; late freezes may destroy flower crop. Very small, round, inedible fruit. Less susceptible to fireblight than most pears.

Pyrus kawakamii

From Taiwan. To 15–30 ft. high and wide, with drooping branchlets and glossy green, oval, 2–4-in. leaves with pointed tips. Masses of flowers appear in winter and early spring, followed by small, inedible fruit. See Pear for edible varieties. Left to its own devices, this becomes a broad, sprawling shrub. Can be espaliered, but is most often grown as a single- or multitrunked tree. Semideciduous in coldest part of its range. Very susceptible to fireblight.

Pyrus pyrifolia

Native to China. To 40 ft. tall, 25 ft. wide. Like European fruiting pear in appearance, but leaves are glossier and more leathery. Fall color ranges from brilliant orange red to reddish purple. Profuse early spring blossoms; small, woody, gritty-textured fruit. This species is involved in the parentage of Asian pear varieties.

Pyrus ussuriensis

Dense, rounded tree to 15–40 ft. tall, 15–25 ft.wide. Roundish, 2–4-in., glossy bright green leaves turn red or purple in fall. Large spring flowers are followed by tiny, hard, inedible fruit. This is a good substitute for callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) in cold zones.

'Pendula'

Elegant specimen plant to 12–15 ft. tall, 10–12 ft. wide. Grown for silvery, willow-like foliage and beautiful weeping habit; form is showcased in winter, when branches are bare. Flowers appear as leaves emerge in early spring. Leaves to 3 1/2 in. long; silvery white when new, slowly turning silvery green in summer. Fruit is insignificant. Very susceptible to fireblight. Sometimes sold as –Silver Frost–.

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