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Plymouth Pear

Pyrus cordata

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
9 metres tall
Hedgerows, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Creamy white flowers and sometimes pink on the backs of the petals. Insect pollinated.
Long-stalked, brown fruit. The fruit is globular which is very atypical for a pear. The fruit are much smaller than other pear species, up to 1.8cm in diameter.
Alternate leaves and purplish-brown buds. The leaves are variable in shape. They can be heart-shaped, wedge-shaped, round or elliptic oval.
Plymouth Pear smells fairly obnoxious. The smell has been compared to wet carpet or rotten scampi.
Other Names:
Dwarf Pear.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Pyrus cordata, also known as the dwarf pear, is a deciduous tree or a shrub in the family Rosaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia, and typically grows in woodlands, hedgerows and other undisturbed areas. It is a smaller tree or shrub, reaching a height of about 30 feet. The leaves are glossy green, and the flowers are small and white, they usually bloom in early spring before leaves appear. The fruit is a pyriform, juicy and sweet, with a green, yellow or red skin. The dwarf pear is less common and not widely cultivated as a fruit tree but it is used to make perry, a fermented alcoholic beverage made from pear juice. Pyrus cordata is a hardy tree and adaptable to different soils and climates, it is also a popular ornamental tree for its beautiful blossoms.


The Plymouth Pear, or Pyrus cordata, is a small, but hardy fruit tree native to the eastern United States. While it may not be as well-known as other fruit trees, such as apple or peach trees, the Plymouth Pear has a lot to offer for gardeners and fruit enthusiasts alike.

Physical Description

The Plymouth Pear is a deciduous tree that can grow up to 30 feet tall in ideal conditions. It has a round or oval-shaped crown and a trunk that can be up to 1 foot in diameter. The leaves are dark green and glossy, and are about 2-4 inches long. The flowers are white and appear in early spring, and the fruit ripens in late summer or early fall.

Fruit Characteristics

The Plymouth Pear produces small, round pears that are about 1-2 inches in diameter. The skin of the pear is greenish-yellow with a reddish-brown blush. The flesh is white and slightly gritty, with a sweet and juicy flavor. The fruit ripens in late summer or early fall, and can be harvested by hand when the fruit is fully ripe.

Growing Conditions

The Plymouth Pear is a hardy tree that is well-suited to a wide range of growing conditions. It can tolerate a variety of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils. It also thrives in full sun to partial shade, and can tolerate both dry and wet conditions.


The Plymouth Pear can be propagated by seed or by grafting. However, it is important to note that seed-grown trees may not produce fruit that is true to the parent plant. For this reason, it is recommended to propagate the Plymouth Pear by grafting.


The Plymouth Pear is primarily grown for its fruit, which can be eaten fresh or used in cooking and baking. The fruit can also be used to make jams, jellies, and other preserves. Additionally, the tree itself can be used as an ornamental, due to its attractive leaves and white flowers.

In conclusion, while the Plymouth Pear may not be as well-known as other fruit trees, it is a hardy and versatile plant that can be a great addition to any garden or orchard. With its delicious fruit and attractive appearance, the Plymouth Pear is definitely worth considering for those looking to grow fruit trees.

Additional Information about the Plymouth Pear

The Plymouth Pear has a long history in the United States, dating back to the 17th century when it was introduced by European settlers. It was widely cultivated in New England and other parts of the eastern United States, and was a popular fruit tree among early American farmers.

Over time, however, the Plymouth Pear fell out of favor, as other types of fruit trees became more popular. Today, the Plymouth Pear is considered a rare and endangered species, with only a few remaining wild populations in the United States.

To help preserve this important tree, efforts are underway to promote its cultivation and propagation. Several organizations and individuals are working to collect and preserve genetic material from wild Plymouth Pear populations, as well as to propagate the tree for use in orchards and gardens.

In addition to its historical and cultural significance, the Plymouth Pear also has important ecological benefits. The tree provides habitat and food for a variety of wildlife, including birds and insects, and can help to improve soil quality and prevent erosion.

One of the unique features of the Plymouth Pear is its resistance to fire blight, a bacterial disease that affects many other types of fruit trees. This resistance makes it an attractive choice for orchards and gardens, as it can help to reduce the need for pesticides and other chemical treatments.

Another benefit of the Plymouth Pear is its relatively small size, which makes it a good choice for small gardens or urban areas where space is limited. The tree is also relatively easy to care for, requiring only minimal pruning and maintenance to produce a healthy crop of fruit.

Despite its many benefits, the Plymouth Pear is still a relatively rare and underutilized fruit tree. However, with increased awareness and promotion, this valuable species has the potential to become more widely cultivated and appreciated in the years to come.

The Plymouth Pear has also been the subject of scientific research, particularly in the area of plant genetics. Scientists have studied the genetic makeup of the tree in order to better understand its resistance to fire blight and other diseases, and to identify traits that could be used to develop new and improved varieties of fruit trees.

In addition, the Plymouth Pear has been used as a rootstock for grafting other types of pear trees, due to its hardiness and resistance to disease. By grafting other pear varieties onto Plymouth Pear rootstock, growers can take advantage of the tree's resistance to fire blight and other diseases, while still producing a variety of fruit with unique flavors and characteristics.

Overall, the Plymouth Pear is a fascinating and valuable fruit tree that has a lot to offer for growers, gardeners, and scientists alike. By preserving and promoting this important species, we can help to ensure that it continues to thrive and provide benefits for generations to come. Whether grown for its delicious fruit, its ecological benefits, or its genetic potential, the Plymouth Pear is truly a tree worth cherishing.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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