European and Asian Pear (European - Pyrus communis L.; Asian - P. pyrifolia)-Hort Answers - University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers

Tree Fruit

European and Asian Pear
European - Pyrus communis L.; Asian - P. pyrifolia

Pear blossoms early in the season
Pear blossoms early in the season
Deciduous, leaves serrate, buds with imbricate scales, flowers mainly white, stamens 20-30 with red or purple anthers, styles 2-5 withtwo ovules per locule, walls of locules are cartilaginous, seeds are black. The genus consists of 23 species and half of the species are found in Asia, and the rest in Europe, North Africa, and around Mediterranean sea (Asian side). The domestic pear of Europe (Pyrus communis L.) and the domestic pear of Asia (Pyrus pyrifolia Bum. Nak.) are the cultivated species. Pear and apple produce flowers and fruit from mixed buds formed at the of spurs (short stubby branches). The terminal flower buds are the ones that open first and fruits set on this flowers tend to be larger than the ones set laterally.One to two shoots may grow from the same bud that produces the fruit. The apple cultivars without such types of shoots are called spur types and does not require a lot of pruning.There are spur types of pears, and because of their growth habit, pears do not require substantial pruning.  

European Pear varieties:

  • New Century
  • Harrow Delight
  • Harvest Queen
  • Bartlett
  • Red Sensation
  • Seckel
  • Spartlett
  • D'Anjou
  • Harrow Sweet
  • Highland Luscious
  • Noble Russet
  • Bosc
  • Comice
  • Hardy
  • Forelle
  • Packam's Triump
  • Moonglow

Asian pear varieties:

  • Nijiseiki (20th Century)
  • Kosui
  • Shinseiki
  • Hosui
  • Chojuro
  • Ya li
  • Tsu li
  • Okusankichi
Mature Height
0 Feet (Small, medium, large)
Mature Width
Harvest Time
Days from bloom to maturity (European 90-210; Asian 120 - 210)


USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 9 
Soil Conditions
Moist, Well-Drained
Exposure/Light Requirements
Full Sun
Fruit Color
Pests and Problems

Animal Damage

Bacterial Disease

Environmental Damage

Fungal Disease

Insect Damage

Additional pests and problems that may affect this plant:

Insect and Insect relatives:
  • Pear Psylla (Cacopsylla pyricola)
  • Pear Rust Mite (Epitrimerus pyri)
  • Pear Sawfly (Caliroa cerasi)
  • Grape Mealybug (Pseudococcus maritimus)
  • Pear Leaf Blister Mite (Phytoptus pyri)
  • Codling Moth (Cydia pomonella)
  • Apple rust mite
  • Tufted apple bud moth
  • Eyespotted bud moth
  • Dogwood borer


  • Foliar and fruit diseases: Apple scab (Venturia inaequalis), pear scab (Venturia pirina), Powdery mildew (Podosphaera leucotricha) Fire blight (Erwinia amylovora).
  • Rust diseases: Cedar apple rust (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginiana), Japanese pear rust (Gymnosporangium asiaticum), Quince rust (Gymnosporangium clavipes), European pear rust (Gymnosporangium fuscum), Hawthorn rust (Gymnosporangium globosum).
  • Fruit diseases: Bitter rot (Glomerella cingular), Black rot (Botryosphaeriaobtusa), White rot (Botryosphaeriadothidea), Black spot (Fabrea maculata), Blue mold rot (Penicillium expansum), Brown rot (Monilina fructosa), Bull's eye rot (Pezicula malioeticus), Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea), Phytopthora rot (Phytophthora cactorum), Pink mold rot (Cephalothechim roseum), Powdery mildew (Podosphaera leucotricha), Rhizopus rot (Rhizopus stolonifer), Side rot (Phialophora malorum)
  • Stony pit (viral)

Nutritional disorders (deficiencies and toxicities):

  • Nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Boron, Manganese, Zinc

Postharvest disorders:

  • Bitter pit
  • Black end of Anjou pears
  • Core breakdown
  • Cork spot of Anjou pears
  • Pink end of Bartlett pears
  • Pithy brown core
  • Storage scald
  • Physiological disorders: Necrotic leaf blotch, Black end, Cork spot, Core breakdown

Environmental factors:

  • Low-temperature injury
  • Sunburn
  • Fruit cracking
  • Drought
  • Flooding
  • Hail
  • Lightning
  • Russet
Additional Notes
Most pear varieties are self-unfruitful so they need pollenizer. Some Pear varieties are suitable for fresh market, baking or canning. The storage period may last from 30 to 200 days in European types and 60 to 180 days in Asian types.


Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic