AMIRÉ JOANNET A very old pear, some say Roman, grown in Britain since at least the early 19th century, though not noted in the 20th century. It has become very rare around the world, but we have discovered it in the collection of Nick Botner in America and brought it back here. A delicious and very early pear, said to be ripe at the same time as rye and barley, according to Scott (1872). In France it might well be ripe around St John’s Day (June 24th) as its name suggests. A small pear-shaped pear, with skin turning yellow when ripe, blushed with red. The flesh is pale, very sweet and very juicy, with a rich flavour, in August. They will keep for a week or two. Pollination Group B
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

BELMONT A culinary pear, ripe from late October to late November, raised by Thomas Andrew Knight at the end of the 18th century. Medium sized, round to oval, with russet covering most of the green/yellow skin and with a coppery blush. The flesh is sweet, crisp and tender, according to Scott in 1872, and ‘one of our very best culinary pears’. Hogg called it ‘excellent – almost first rate’. Said to be a strong grower and abundant bearer. This pear has been ‘lost’ in these Isles, but was preserved in America, in the private collection of Nick Botner, in Oregon. He sent us scions in 2010. Now in his 80s, he has established a vast collection, saving many important historical varieties from extinction. We are pleased to re-introduce it to its homeland. Pollination Group D. **

 

 

BERGAMOTTE ESPEREN Also known as Bergamotte D’Esperen. Raised around 1830 by Major Esperen of Malines. A medium sized, rather dumpy pear, which stays green, hard and rough skinned throughout the autumn but softens from January to March, when the flesh becomes smooth, melting and very juicy. It has a rich, sweet flavour. Pollination Group C

 

 

 

 

 

 

BETH A variety bred by Tydeman at East Malling Research Station, Kent in 1938 from two old varieties, Williams Bon Chrétien and Beurré Superfin. It was not named until 1974. The dessert fruit is ripe in late August and September and the trees usually produce very good crops. The flavour is good and the flesh has a white melting texture. Fruit is small to medium sized and often irregularly shaped. Pollination Group C.

 

 

 

 

 

BEURRÉ BEDFORD Beurré means 'buttered' and is part of the name of many varieties which have a smooth buttery texture. Beurré Bedford was introduced by Laxtons of Bedford in 1922. The medium-large fruits are ripe in October; they have greenish-yellow skin, flushed pink, with some russeting. The flesh is juicy, sweet and aromatic. Pollination Group C.

 

 

 

 

 

 
             

 

BEURRÉ D’AMANLIS Introduced in 1826. This dessert fruit is large, smooth and green, with russet patches. It is ripe in late September or early October, turning from green to greenish gold. The trees are hardy and crops are reliably good, even in the North and Scotland. They have a full if mild pear flavour with no acidity. The flesh is granular but melting. Triploid, Pollination Group B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEURRÉ D’ANGLETERRE Cultivated by the French before 1699, but any details of origin in England are now unknown. Hogg suggested it had never been grown in England, but its history might have been very early and he could not justifiably be so emphatic. The French considered it to be English. It has also been called Angleterre, English Beurré and Poire D’Angleterre. Though well known in the 19th century in Britain it has disappeared. We found it in the Botner collection in Oregon and he kindly sent scions in 2009. It was very highly regarded around Paris when it was considered ‘par excellence’ and was the market pear of Paris according to Scott. A medium sized, pear shaped fruit with russeted green/yellow skin, tinged red/brown in the sun, and with white melting, very juicy flesh, sweet and rich. Ripe in mid September. **

 

BEURRÉ DIEL Discovered growing un-named on a farm at Perck in Belgium, around 1800, by Monsieur Meuris, Head Gardener to the Pomologist Van Mons. Van Mons then dedicated it to another famous Pomologist Dr Diel. A medium to large pear, ripening in October and storing for several weeks. The flesh is melting and buttery, very juicy and with a fine flavour. The fruit was said to attain its greatest size and finest flavour when trained as an espalier against a wall. We found this variety, growing on the old kitchen garden wall, at the nearby Wotton Estate, with a name tag. It was planted early in the 20th century. Vigorous. Triploid. Pollination Group C

 

 

 
             

 

BEURRÉ HARDY A dessert pear of Belgian origin, raised by Msr. Bonnet in 1820, a friend of the pomologist Van Mons, and subsequently named by another after a Msr Hardy, Director of the Luxembourg Gardens, and introduced around 1840. The medium/large fruit has a very good flavour, with very juicy flesh, sometimes tinged pink, rich and scented of rose-water. The skin is russet and coppery red. It is a good cropper, ready to eat in September/October. Trees are strong, tall, and upright, with good autumn colour. Pollination Group C.

 

 

 

 

 

BEURRÉ SUPERFIN This dessert fruit is sometimes deemed to be the best after Comice. Raised by Msr Goubalt at Mille Pieds (‘thousand feet’), near Angers, France, it first fruited in 1844. It is greenish yellow, with some russeting, and has a fine flavour with white melting flesh, when fully ripe. Ready to eat in early October, though sometimes earlier, and even when crisp and under-ripe it has a good flavour. Pollination Group B.

 

 

 

 

 

BISHOP’S THUMB Once called Bishop’s Tongue, and grown under this name in 1690, at Brompton Park Nursery, though John Evelyn 1669 had a Bishop’s Pear. It was renamed at the end of the 18th century. A long and large, pear shaped, excellent dessert fruit. Green/yellow skin, blushed coppery red, with melting, very juicy, sweet and rich flesh. A good cropper. Ripe in October.

 

 

 

 

 

 
             

 

BLACK WORCESTER A historic, possibly Roman, pear that appears on the County coat of arms. It is of the type known as Wardens, cooking pears that do not ripen and only 'mature' when cooked. Also called Parkinson’s Warden (wrongly), Pound Pear, Warden. A cooking pear, with green skin, almost entirely covered with rough brown russet, and sometimes tinted red on the side near the sun. The skin can be rather dark, hence the title 'black'. The flesh is hard and coarse-grained, but is excellent if stewed slowly. (See Warden for cooking). Ready in November, and can be stored until February. Pollination Group C.