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Pyrus






PYRUS ARIA.--White Beam Tree. Europe (Britain). A shrub or small-growing

tree, with lobed leaves, covered thickly on the under sides with a

close, flocculent down. The flowers are small and white, and produced in

loose corymbs. It is a handsome small tree, especially when the leaves

are ruffled by the wind and the under sides revealed to view. The red or

scarlet fruit is showy and beautiful.



P. AUCUPARIA.--Mountain Ash, or Rowan Tree. Too well-known to need

description, but one of our handsomest small-growing trees, and whether

for the sake of its dense corymbs of small white flowers or large

bunches of scarlet fruit it is always welcomed and admired. P. Aucuparia

pendula has the branches inclined to be pendulous; and P. Aucuparia

fructo-luteo differs from the normal plant in having yellowish instead

of scarlet fruit.



P. AMERICANA (_syn Sorbus americana_).--American Mountain Ash. This

species, a native of the mountains of Pennsylvania and Virginia (1782),

is much like our Rowan Tree in general appearance, but the bunches of

berries are larger, and of a brighter red colour.



P. ANGUSTIFOLIA.--North America, 1750. A double-flowered crab is offered

under this name, of vigorous growth, bearing delicate pink, rose-like

flowers that are deliciously fragrant, and borne contemporaneously with

the leaves. The merits claimed for the shrub are perfect hardihood,

great beauty of blossom and leaf, delicious fragrance, and adaptability

to various soils. The single-flowered form extends over large areas in

the Atlantic States of North America. They are very desirable,

small-growing trees, and are described by Professor Sargent as being not

surpassed in beauty by any of the small trees of North America.



P. BACCATA.--Siberian Crab. Siberia and Dahuria, 1784. This is one of

the most variable species in cultivation, and from which innumerable

forms have been developed, that differ either in habit, foliage,

flowers, or fruit. The deciduous calyx would seem to be the only

reliable distinguishing character. It is a widely-distributed species,

being found in North China and Japan, Siberia and the Himalayas, and has

from time immemorial been cultivated by the Chinese and Japanese, so

that it is not at all surprising that numbers of forms have been

developed.



P. CORONARIA.--Sweet Scented Crab. North America, 1724. This is a

handsome species, with ovate, irregularly-toothed leaves, and pink and

white fragrant flowers. The flowers are individually large and

corymbose, and are succeeded by small green fruit.



P. DOMESTICA (_syn Sorbus domestica_).--True Service. Britain. This

resembles the Mountain Ash somewhat, but the flowers are panicled, and

the berries fewer, larger, and pear-shaped. The flowers are conspicuous

enough to render the tree of value in ornamental planting.



P. FLORIBUNDA (_syns P. Malus floribunda_ and _Malus microcarpa

floribunda_).--China and Japan, 1818. The Japanese Crabs are wonderfully

floriferous, the branches being in most instances wreathed with flowers

that are individually not very large, and rarely exceeding an inch in

diameter when fully expanded. Generally in the bud state the flowers are

of a deep crimson, but this disappears as they become perfectly

developed, and when a less striking tint of pinky-white is assumed. From

the St. Petersburgh gardens many very ornamental Crabs have been sent

out, these differing considerably in colour of bark, habit, and tint of

flowers. They have all been referred to the above species. P. floribunda

is a worthy form, and one of the most brilliant of spring-flowering

trees. The long, slender shoots are thickly covered for almost their

entire length with flowers that are rich crimson in the bud state, but

paler when fully opened. There are numerous, very distinct varieties,

such as P. floribunda atrosanguinea, with deep red flowers; P.

floribunda Elise Rathe, of pendulous habit; P. floribunda John Downie,

very beautiful in fruit; P. floribunda pendula, a semi-weeping variety;

P. floribunda praecox, early-flowering; P. floribunda mitis, of small

size; P. floribunda Halleana or Parkmanii, probably the most beautiful

of all the forms; and P. floribunda Fairy Apple and P. floribunda

Transcendant Crab, of interest on account of their showy fruit. P.

floribunda Toringo (Toringo Crab) is a Japanese tree of small growth,

with sharply cut, usually three-lobed, pubescent leaves, and small

flowers. Fruit small, with deciduous calyx lobes.



P. GERMANICA (_syn Mespilus germanica_).--Common Medlar. Europe

(Britain), Asia Minor, Persia. Early records show that the Medlar was

cultivated for its fruit as early as 1596. Some varieties are still

grown for that purpose, and in that state the tree is not devoid of

ornament. The large, white flowers are produced singly, but have a fine

effect in their setting of long, lanceolate, finely-serrate leaves

during May.



P. JAPONICA (_syn Cydonia japonica_).--Japanese Quince. Japan, 1815.

This is one of the commonest of our garden shrubs, and one that is

peculiarly well suited for our climate, whether planted as a standard or

as a wall plant. The flowers are brilliant crimson, and plentifully

produced towards the end of winter and before the leaves. Besides the

species there are several very fine varieties, including P. japonica

albo cincta, P. japonica atropurpurea, P. japonica coccinea, P. japonica

flore-pleno, P. japonica nivalis, a charming species, with snowy-white

flowers; P. japonica rosea, of a delicate rose-pink; and P. japonica

princeps. P. japonica cardinalis is one of the best of the numerous

forms of this beautiful shrub. The flowers are of large size, of full

rounded form, and of a deep cardinal-rose colour. They are produced in

great quantity along the branches. A well-grown specimen is in April a

brilliant picture of vivid colour, and the shrub is sooner or later

destined to a chief place amongst our ornamental flowering shrubs. P.

japonica Maulei (_syn Cydonia Maulei_), from Japan (1874), is a rare

shrub as yet, small of growth, and with every twig festooned with the

brightest of orange-scarlet flowers. It is quite hardy, and succeeds

well under treatment that will suit the common species.



P. PRUNIFOLIA.--Siberia, 1758. Whether in flower or fruit this beautiful

species is sure to attract attention. It is a tree of 25 feet in height,

with nearly rotundate, glabrous leaves on long footstalks, and pretty

pinky-white flowers. The fruit is very ornamental, being, when fully

ripe, of a deep and glowing scarlet, but there are forms with yellow,

and green, as also striped fruit.



P. RIVULARIS.--River-side Wild Service Tree. North-west America, 1836. A

native of North America, with terminal clusters of white flowers,

succeeded by sub-globose red or yellow fruit, is an attractive and

handsome species. The fruit is eaten by the Indians of the North-west,

and the wood, which is very hard and susceptible of a fine polish, is

largely used in the making of wedges. It is a rare species in this

country.



P. SINICA (_syn P. sinensis of Lindley_).--Chinese Pear Tree. China and

Cochin China, 1820. Another very ornamental Crab, bearing a great

abundance of rosy-pink or nearly white flowers. It is a shrub-like tree,

reaching a height of 20 feet, and with an upright habit of growth. Bark

of a rich, reddish-brown colour. It is one of the most profuse and

persistent bloomers of the whole family.



P. SINENSIS (_syn Cydonia chinensis_).--Chinese Quince. China, 1818.

This is rarely seen in cultivation, it having, comparatively speaking,

few special merits of recommendation.



P. SMITHII (_syns Mespilis Smithii_ and _M. grandiflora_).--Smith's

Medlar. Caucasus, 1800. The habit of this tree closely resembles that of

a Hawthorn, and although the flowers are only half the size of those of

the Common Medlar, they are produced in greater profusion, so that the

round-headed tree becomes a sheet of white blossom during May and June.

The reddish-brown fruits are small for a Medlar, and ripen in October.



P. TORMINALIS.--Wild Service Tree. A native species of small growth,

with ovate-cordate leaves, and small white flowers. P. torminalis

pinnatifida, with acutely-lobed leaves, and oval-oblong fruit may just

be mentioned.



P. VESTITA.--Nepaul White Beam. Nepaul, 1820. In this species the leaves

are very large, ovate-acute or elliptic, and when young thickly coated

with a white woolly-like substance, but which with warm weather

gradually gives way until they are of a smooth and shining green. The

flowers are borne in woolly racemose corymbs, and are white succeeded by

greenish-brown berries as large as marbles.



Other species of less interest are P. varidosa, P. salicifolia, P.

salvaefolia, P. Bollwylleriana, and P. Amygdaliformis. They are all of

free growth, and the readiest culture, and being perfectly hardy are

well worthy of a much larger share of attention than they have

heretofore received.






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Previous: Punica



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