BLAZE An old, unnamed pear which was brought to us in 2005 by Gordon Smith of Aston Abbotts, Buckinghamshire. The name was suggested by Mr Smith, in memory of Blaze, a horse who shared the field with the ancient tree. Tony and Lydia Lambourne were the owners of both horse and tree. Blaze died at the remarkable age of 44 years in 2004. A middle to late fruiting pear, small and dumpy, smooth and rounded with russeted skin, covered with pale dots. The cream flesh is soft and juicy, with a rich flavour. It is also well flavoured when still under-ripe and crisp. Fruit ripens over an extended period, from September to November. Pollination Group C *
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

BRANDY A ‘medium sharp’ perry pear which is thought to have arisen at the start of the 19th century, in Gloucestershire. It was popular in the Forest of Dean over the 19th century. Small fruit with pale yellow skin, red flushed. It is said to make a modest sized tree for a pear. Ripe in October. Pollination Group D

 

 

CALDECOTT PEAR Standing alone in a field which was formerly the deserted mediaeval village of Caldecott (now called Caldecotte), near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, is a very ancient and much decayed pear tree, hundreds of years old. It is now short and bushy, overgrown and neglected, hollow and open on one side, though in the process of re-generation. Fruit from the old tree is medium sized, dumpy, often quite flat, with an atypically long stalk. The skin is pale green to golden, with spotted russet over much of the surface. Clearly, it is a very old and unknown variety. Ripe in September to October, the flesh is sweet, juicy and crumbly, with a rich musky flavour. We were taken to this important tree by Melvyn Jones, a keen naturalist and then employed by the local council. We are grateful for his help and pleased to provide trees of this dogged survivor. *

 

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 with the taste of a Conference. 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, Pollination Group 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. 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. Pollination Group 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. Pollination Group C

 

 

 

 

CLAPP’S FAVOURITE Known to have been raised in Massachusetts before 1860. The yellow dessert fruit is flushed with scarlet and has a crisp flesh, full of sweet juice when ripe, from the middle of August to September. The pears have a good clean skin. It is self sterile, so it will need another pollinator to set fruit. Best picked at the peak of ripeness. Pollination Group C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFERENCE Introduced by Thomas Rivers in 1894, it is one of the most widely grown pears in Britain. It was a seedling of Léon Leclerc de Laval, open pollinated. Popular as a market pear because it could be cropped and stored, before ripe, and it is still too often thoroughly under-ripe when it appears on supermarket shelves. When ripe it is an excellent pear. It is said to crop reasonably well, without the need for a pollinator, but the fruit is usually poor and underformed in such cases. It is unclear whether it is a good pollinator of other pears. It is said not to pollinate Beurré D’Amanlis. Pick at the end of September, store until November. Pollination Group 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. Pollination Group B. *

 

 

CRAWFORD This is also know as Chalk, Bancrieff and Lammas. A hardy, Scottish 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. Pollination Group 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, Pollination Group C.