CAPABILITY PEAR An old pear from the ‘Old Orchard’ at Wotton, right next to Capability Brown’s landscape garden there. It fell over when very old and tall, and re-rooted from the trunk, sending new upright growth. It is a small dessert pear, distinctly apple-shaped, crisp and nutty when under-ripe, becoming soft, sweet and juicy. The flesh is somewhat granular. The round fruit is just 2” wide and 1¾” tall, with skin of apple green and pale russeting at the eye and stalk, becoming golden when ripe. Fruit has an occasional red blush near the sun. It is ripe in early to mid October. Middle flowering, Poll C



CATILLAC Also called Pound Pear. A very large culinary pear and one of the best, according to Hogg. First recorded in 1665, it may have originated at Cadillac, in France. Some early writers called it ‘Cadillac’. It is ripe in October and will store well into the new year. It remains hard and needs prolonged stewing to bring out the rich flavour, which Scott describes as ‘musky’. Best grown in a compact form as the weight of the fruit can damage branches. Triploid. Poll C




CITRON DES CARMES A very old and continuously popular European pear that was known in England before 1724. It takes its name from having been grown by the Carmelites, in Paris, and has also been known as Madeleine, Magdalene and several other synonyms. A lovely middle sized pear, ripe in August, and consistently rated one of the best early pears, by 19th century writers. Shortened pear-shaped, with green/yellow skin, flushed brown, and with pale, sweet, juicy and refreshing flesh. A fast growing and abundantly bearing tree. Poll C


CLAPP’S FAVOURITE Raised in Massachusetts before 1860. The yellow dessert fruit is flushed with scarlet and has a crisp flesh, full of juice when ripe, from the middle of August to September. It is self sterile, so it will need another pollinator to set fruit. Best picked at the peak of ripeness. Poll C

CRANFORD PEAR Called Pickard’s Pear in an earlier catalogue and now renamed Cranford Pear, from its place of origin. Another very interesting old pear that has lost its name during its long life. It was introduced to us by Daphne and Stephen Pickard of Cranford St. John, Northamptonshire. Their house was built 44 years ago in an old orchard belonging to a neighbouring farm, close to the village church. This large old pear tree has small to medium sized fruits, ripe in September, of warm pale yellow when ripe, with slight thin russet, oval and rounded at the ends with a longish oblique slender stalk. The eye is flat and open. The flesh is very smooth, juicy, lemony and sweet, with a hint of clove or cinnamon. Thanks to Mr and Mrs Pickard for introducing us to it. Poll B
CRAWFORD Also going by the name of Chalk and Bancrieff, this is a hardy Scottish pear. It was also known as Lammas. An early season variety, ripe in August in Scotland, and once very popular. It is thought to have originated before the 19th century. The small pears turn yellow when ripe and often develop a brown red flush. The flesh is sweet, juicy and buttery. Poll B
  DOYENNÉ DE BOUSSOCH An old Belgian variety and one of the most handsome dessert pears, very popular in Victorian times for exhibition. It also has a very fine flavour and sweet juicy flesh, though it needs to be eaten as soon as ripe, usually in mid-September. A reliable cropper. Triploid. Poll C    
DOYENNÉ DU COMICE A French pear, grown from seed in the fruit garden of the Horticultural Society of Maine et Loire and first fruiting in 1849. It reached England in 1858 and soon became very popular for its delicious flavour and juicy texture. The medium/large golden yellow fruit is flushed red. It is best planted in a warm site if it is to fruit well. Fruit keeps until November/December. Crops are not always regular. Poll C
DUCHESSE BRONZÉE The origin of this excellent pear is a little foggy. It has been said that it was a sport of Duchesse D’Angoulême, but there is no record we can find to confirm this. It seems to have come to England first in 1885, when it was exhibited by the famed André Leroy, at the National Pear Conference, held at the RHS Chiswick gardens. This pear did not appear in Leroy’s ‘Dictionnaire de Pomologie’ of 1873. It is a fairly large pear, with bronzed skin, often with a hammered look, ripe in October, and is one of those pears that seems to be quite hard when it comes off the tree, but it is ripe in a few days. When fresh from the tree it is sweet, juicy and crunchy, for those that like a crisp pear, but it soon becomes very sweet, very juicy and with smooth, tender flesh. One of the best flavoured pears, which can be eaten in stages (being large), as it does not discolour when cut. Poll B
DUCHESSE D'ANGOULÊME A delicious dessert pear, introduced in 1812 as Poire des Éparonnais, and renamed Duchesse d’Angoulême in 1822. A medium to large fruit, with dull yellow skin covered in light brown freckles and with juicy, sweet, melting flesh. It also has a good flavour when still young and crisp. Ripe in October and November. Poll C
DURONDEAU Raised by Msr Durondeau, near Tournay, in Belgium, in 1811. A very popular dessert pear with a very sweet flavour. The longish medium/large fruit is golden yellow, russeted, and with a red flush. It has very juicy flesh and stores reasonably well, even to December. Ripe in October. It has good crops and is partially self-fertile. It prefers moist soil to develop its full flavour. Poll B
ÉMILE D’HEYST Raised by Msr Esperen and named after Msr D’Heyst of Heyst-op-den-Berg. It first fruited in 1847. A dessert variety with oval shaped fruits, green, turning yellow when ripe. The flavour is sweet and juicy with a very rich lemon flavour. It is also very palatable when under ripe and crunchy. Ripe in mid-October, it will keep for a month or more. Known to grow well in the north, including Scotland. Heavy cropper. Poll B
ENDICOTT PEAR Now nearly 400 years old, this is the oldest known fruit tree, with a full provenance, in the world. It is believed to be the oldest living tree in America by some. When John Endecott, an English puritan, left for America in 1628 on the ship Abigail, he landed and stayed on a small peninsula at Salem, in what would become part of Massachusetts. He is believed to have planted fruit trees on his arrival. In 1632 he was granted 300 acres of land in Danversport, three miles away and probably moved his young fruit trees. He established ‘Orchard Farm’ and planted this pear tree among many others. He is on record as having been committed to the need to produce food crops for a swelling number of immigrants to New England and it seems likely, and even supposed by some in America, that he brought grafted sapling trees with him from England. It would be a foolish immigrant who planned to feed his family by taking seeds, sowing them and then to wait up to 10 years for the first fruit, only to find the fruit was of unpalatable quality. Seedlings more often than not produce poor fruit and only a few, selected from many, are worth keeping. Another belief was that it arrived from England on the Arbella with Winthrop in 1630. John Endecott was later first Governor of Massachusetts. He and Winthrop were directors of the Massachusetts Bay Trading Company – set up by Royal Charter of Charles I - to colonize a large area of New England. Endecott’s family later went by the name of ‘Endicott’. His pear tree was said to have been planted in 1632, some say 1640, and was known as the ‘Sugar Pear’, in ‘The Governor’s Orchard’. There is no firm evidence to conclude whether or not the tree was grafted, such was its troubled life and ground level rises quite substantially over 400 years. A descendant, Samuel Endicott, in 1823, said in a full statement that it had been imported from England and that there was no doubt of it having been grafted. Others point to its re-growth from low down as evidence of it having been a seedling and true to its roots. During its life it has been subjected to all manner of destructive forces. It blew down in 1804 and again in 1815 but rose again from the seemingly dead. The original trunk had gone, when inspected in 1924. In 1938 two remaining stems from ground level were almost destroyed by the New England Hurricane and in 1964 a vandal teenager decapitated what remained. Careful husbandry allowed it to shoot and recover, to be enfenced for security. Its history has been fully documented since its first years. A map of 1832 by John Proctor clearly marks the tree as being 200 years old. The quality of the pears has been described as poor, hard and only worth cooking or excellent to eat and sweet. President John Adams – President at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries - was very impressed with the tree and had several trees grafted for his farm. It is small to medium sized, rounded, with a long stalk and mostly said to be of sweet eating quality. Our trees have not yet fruited, so we cannot be more specific. It is most likely an English or French variety of great antiquity.