Fraxinus, English name ash, is a genus of flowering plants in the olive and lilac family, Oleaceae. It contains 45–65 species of medium to large trees deciduous, though a few subtropical species are evergreen; the genus is widespread across much of Europe and North America. The tree's common English name, "ash", traces back to the Old English æsc which relates to the Proto-Indo-European for the tree, while the generic name originated in Latin from a Proto-Indo-European word for birch. Both words are used to mean "spear" in their respective languages as the wood is good for shafts; the leaves are opposite, pinnately compound, simple in a few species. The seeds, popularly known as "keys" or "helicopter seeds", are a type of fruit known as a samara. Most Fraxinus species are dioecious, having male and female flowers on separate plants but gender in ash is expressed as a continuum between male and female individuals, dominated by unisexual trees. With age, ash may change their sexual function from predominantly male and hermaphrodite towards femaleness.
Rowans or mountain ashes have leaves and buds superficially similar to those of true ashes, but belong to the unrelated genus Sorbus in the rose family. Species arranged into sections supported by phylogenetic analysis. Section DipetalaeFraxinus anomala Torr. Ex S. Watson – singleleaf ash Fraxinus dipetala Hook. & Arn. – California ash or two-petal ash Fraxinus quadrangulata Michx. – blue ash Fraxinus trifoliataSection FraxinusFraxinus angustifolia Vahl – narrow-leafed ash Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. Oxycarpa – Caucasian ash Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. Syriaca Fraxinus excelsior L. – European ash Fraxinus holotricha Koehne Fraxinus mandschurica Rupr. – Manchurian ash Fraxinus nigra Marshall – black ash Fraxinus pallisiae Wilmott – Pallis' ash Fraxinus sogdiana BgeSection Melioides sensu latoFraxinus chiisanensis Fraxinus cuspidata Torr. – fragrant ash Fraxinus platypoda Fraxinus spaethiana Lingelsh. – Späth's ashSection Melioides sensu strictoFraxinus albicans Buckley – Texas ash Fraxinus americana L. – white ash or American ash Fraxinus berlandieriana DC.
– Mexican ash Fraxinus caroliniana Mill. – Carolina ash Fraxinus latifolia Benth. – Oregon ash Fraxinus papillosa Lingelsh. – Chihuahua ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall – green ash Fraxinus profunda Bush – pumpkin ash Fraxinus uhdei Lingelsh. – Shamel ash or tropical ash Fraxinus velutina Torr. – velvet ash or Arizona ashSection OrnusFraxinus apertisquamifera Fraxinus baroniana Fraxinus bungeana DC. – Bunge's ash Fraxinus chinensis Roxb. – Chinese ash or Korean ash Fraxinus floribunda Wall. – Himalayan manna ash Fraxinus griffithii C. B. Clarke – Griffith's ash Fraxinus japonica – Japanese ash Fraxinus lanuginosa – Japanese ash Fraxinus longicuspis Fraxinus malacophylla Fraxinus micrantha Lingelsh. Fraxinus ornus L. – manna ash or flowering ash Fraxinus paxiana Lingelsh. Fraxinus sieboldiana Blume – Japanese flowering ashSection PaucifloraeFraxinus dubia Fraxinus gooddingii – Goodding's ash Fraxinus greggii A. Gray – Gregg's ash Fraxinus purpusii Fraxinus rufescensSection SciadanthusFraxinus dimorpha Fraxinus hubeiensis Ch'u & Shang & Su – 湖北梣 hu bei qin Fraxinus xanthoxyloides Wall.
Ex DC. – Afghan ash North American native ash tree species are a critical food source for North American frogs, as their fallen leaves are suitable for tadpoles to feed upon in ponds, large puddles, other water bodies. Lack of tannins in the American ash makes their leaves a good food source for the frogs, but reduces its resistance to the ash borer. Species with higher leaf tannin levels are taking the place of native ash, thanks to their greater resistance to the ash borer, they produce much less suitable food for the tadpoles, resulting in poor survival rates and small frog sizes. Ash species native to North America provide important habit and food for various other creatures native to North America, such as a long-horn beetle, avian species, mammalian species. Ash is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species; the emerald ash borer is a wood-boring beetle accidentally introduced to North America from eastern Asia via solid wood packing material in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
It has killed tens of millions of trees in 22 states in the United States and adjacent Ontario and Quebec in Canada. It threatens some seven billion ash trees in North America. Research is being conducted to determine if three native Asian wasps that are natural predators of EAB could be used as a biological control for the management of EAB populations in the United States; the public is being cautioned not to transport unfinished wood products, such as firewood, to slow the spread of this insect pest. The European ash, Fraxinus excelsior, has been affected by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, causing ash dieback in a large number of trees since the mid-1990s in eastern and northern Europe; the disease has infected about 90% of Denmark's ash trees. At the end of October 2012 in the UK, the Food and Environment Research Agency reported that ash dieback had been discovered in mature woodland in Suffolk. In 2016, the ash tree was reported as in danger of extinction in Europe. Ash is a hardwood and is hard, dense and strong but elastic, extensively used for making bows, tool handles, baseball bats and other uses demanding high strength and resilience.
Buddleja, or Buddleia known as the butterfly bush, is a genus comprising over 140 species of flowering plants endemic to Asia and the Americas. The generic name bestowed by Linnaeus posthumously honoured the Reverend Adam Buddle, an English botanist and rector, at the suggestion of Dr. William Houstoun. Houstoun sent the first plants to become known to science as buddleja to England from the Caribbean about 15 years after Buddle's death; the botanic name has been the source of some confusion. By modern practice of botanical Latin, the spelling of a generic name made from'Buddle' would be Buddleia, but Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum of 1753 and 1754 spelled it Buddleja, with the long i between two vowels, common in early modern orthography; the pronunciation of the long i in Buddleja as j is a common modern error. The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature has changed to incorporate stricter rules about orthographic variants, as of the 2006 edition requires that Linnaeus' spelling should be followed in this case.
The genus Buddleja is now included again in the Buddlejaceae family, synonym: Oftiaceae, having earlier been classified under Scrophulariaceae and Buddlejaceae. Of the 100 species nearly all are shrubs <5 m tall, but a few qualify as trees, the largest reaching 30 m. Both evergreen and deciduous species occur, in temperate regions resp; the leaves are lanceolate in most species, arranged in opposite pairs on the stems. The flowers of the Asiatic species are produced in terminal panicles 10–50 cm long; each individual flower is tubular and divided into four spreading lobes about 3–4 mm across, the corolla length ranging from around 10 mm in the Asiatics to 3–30 mm in the American species, the wider variation in the latter because some South American species have evolved long red flowers to attract hummingbirds, rather than insects, as exclusive pollinators. The colour of the flowers varies from pastel pinks and blues in Asia, to vibrant yellows and reds in the New World, while many cultivars have deeper tones.
The flowers are rich in nectar and strongly honey-scented. The fruit is a small capsule about 1 cm long and 1–2 mm diameter, containing numerous small seeds; the genus is found in four continents. Over 60 species are native through the New World from the southern United States south to Chile, while many other species are found in the Old World, in Africa, parts of Asia, but all are absent as natives from Europe and Australasia; the species are divided into three groups based on their floral type: those in the New World are dioecious, while those in the Old World are hermaphrodite with perfect flowers. As garden shrubs buddlejas are 20th-century plants, with the exception of B. globosa, introduced to Britain from southern Chile in 1774 and disseminated from the nursery of Lee and Kennedy, Hammersmith. Several species are popular garden plants, the species are known as'butterfly bushes' owing to their attractiveness to butterflies, have become staples of the modern butterfly garden; the most popular cultivated species is Buddleja davidii from central China, named for the French Basque missionary and naturalist Père Armand David.
Other common garden species include the aforementioned B. globosa, grown for its honey-scented orange globular inflorescences, the weeping Buddleja alternifolia. Several interspecific hybrids have been made, notably B.'Lochinch' and B. × weyeriana, the latter a cross between a South American and an Asiatic species. Some species escape from the garden. B. davidii in particular is a great coloniser of dry open ground. It is seen beside railway lines, on derelict factory sites and, in the aftermath of World War II, on urban bomb sites; this earned it the popular nickname of'the bombsite plant' among the war-time generation. Popular garden cultivars include'Royal Red','Black Knight','Sungold', and'Pink Delight'. In recent years, much breeding work has been undertaken to create small, more compact buddlejas, such as'Blue Chip' which reach no more than 2–3 ft tall, which are seed sterile, an important consideration in the USA where B. davidii and its cultivars are banned from many states owing to their invasiveness.
In Britain, there are four National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens collections, held by: The Lavender Garden, Ashcroft Nurseries, Tetbury, Glos. GL8 8YF. Tel. 01453 860356 www.thelavenderg.co.uk Longstock Park Nursery, Stockbridge, Hants. SO20 6EH. Tel. 01264 810894 www.longstocknursery.co.uk Paignton Zoo, Totnes Road, Devon TQ4 7EU. Tel. 01803 697529 www.paigntonzoo.org.uk The Shapcott Barton Estate, East Knowstone, South Molton, Devon EX36 4EE. Tel. 01398 341664 The many species of Buddleja have been the subject of much taxonomic contention. The listing below includes the names, still prevalent in h
Potentilla is a genus containing over 300 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae. They are called cinquefoils in English. Potentilla are only found throughout the northern continents of the world, though some may be found in montane biomes of the New Guinea Highlands. Several other cinquefoils included here are now separated in distinct genera - notably the popular garden shrub P. fruticosa, now Dasiphora fruticosa. Some species are called tormentils, though this is used for common tormentil. Others are referred to as barren strawberries, which may refer to P. sterilis in particular, or to the related but not congeneric Waldsteinia fragarioides. Typical cinquefoils look most similar to strawberries, but differ in having dry, inedible fruit. Many cinquefoil species have palmate leaves; some species have just three leaflets. The flowers are yellow, but may be white, pinkish or red; the accessory fruits are dry but may be fleshy and strawberry-like, while the actual seeds – each one technically a single fruit – are tiny nuts.
Among the Rosaceae, cinquefoils are close relatives of avens and roses, closer relatives of agrimonies. Yet more related to Potentilla are lady's mantles and strawberries. Dryas is not as related as long believed. Analysis of internal transcribed spacer DNA sequence data has yielded valuable information on cinquefoil relationships, supporting previous hypotheses about their relationships, but resulting in a number of changes to the circumscription of Potentilla; the genera Horkelia and Ivesia are sometimes included in Potentilla today. The mock-strawberries of Duchesnea have been included. Conversely, the shrubby plants included in this genus are now separated in the genus Dasiphora, while some distinctive and protocarnivorous herbaceous cinquefoils are placed in Drymocallis; the marsh cinquefoil is now in the genus Comarum, the three-toothed cinquefoil makes up the monotypic genus Sibbaldiopsis. As proposed by John Hill in the 18th century, the silverweeds of genus Argentina may be distinct, but as the immediate sister genus of Potentilla, its boundary is still unclear.
Estimates of the number of valid species in this large genus depend on the circumscription used, they vary from "over 300" to 400 to 500 to "several hundred". See the list of Potentilla species. Argentina Comarum Dasiphora Drymocallis Sibbaldiopsis "Cinquefoil" in the Middle English Dictionary is described as "Pentafilon – from Greek Pentaphyllon – influenced by foil, a leaf; the European cinquefoil used medicinally." The word is derived from Old French cinc, Middle English cink and Latin quinque – all meaning "five" –, feuille and foil/foille which mean "leaf". This term referred to five-leaved plants in general. In medieval times, the word "cinquefoil" was used exclusively in England. In France, the genus was called quintefeuille, first attested in Normandy and Brittany in the 11th century; the scientific name seems to have been influenced by a fusion of ancient names for these plants. Common tormentil, P. erecta, was known as tormentilla in medieval Latin, derived from early Spanish – "a little torment", meaning pain that, while not debilitating, is unpleasant and persistent.
The change from initial "t" to "p" seems to have been influenced by terms such as poterium – Latin for the related burnets – or propedila and similar words used for the European cinquefoil in the now-extinct Dacian language, as attested in Latin herbals. In another medieval dictionary the French word potentille is defined as a "wild Tansie, a silver weed", a reference to the tansy and similar taxa of the genus Tanacetum; the related adjective potentiel/potentiells means "strong", "forcible", or "powerful in operation". Its origin is the French potence; the origin of these words is the Latin potens, with the same meaning. Cinquefoils grow wild in most cold regions of the world. Most species are herbaceous perennials but a few are erect or creeping shrubs; some are troublesome weeds. Other types are grown in gardens. Cinquefoils are a prominent part of many ecosystems. In the United Kingdom alone, common tormentil together with purple moor grass defines many grassy mires, grows abundantly in the typical deciduous forest with downy birch, common wood sorrel, sessile oak.
In upland pastures on calcareous soil it accompanies common bent, sheep's fescue, wild thyme. It is most seen in regions dominated by common heather, including common lowland heaths with bell heather, maritime heaths with spring squill, submontane heaths dominated by red peat moss and common bilberry, the mountain heathlands of Scotland with alpine juniper; the leaves of cinquefoils are eaten by the caterpillars of many Lepidoptera, notably the grizzled skippers, butterflies of the skipper family. Adult butterflies and moths visit cinquefoil flowers.
An arboretum in a general sense is a botanical collection composed of trees. More a modern arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants and is intended at least in part for scientific study. An arboretum specializing in growing conifers is known as a pinetum. Other specialist arboreta include saliceta and querceta; the term arboretum was first used in an English publication by John Claudius Loudon in 1833 in The Gardener's Magazine but the concept was long-established by then. Related collections include a viticetum. Egyptian Pharaohs cared for them. Hatshepsut's expedition to Punt returned bearing thirty-one live frankincense trees, the roots of which were kept in baskets for the duration of the voyage, it is reported that Hatshepsut had these trees planted in the courts of her Deir el Bahri mortuary temple complex. Arboreta are special places for the cultivation and display of a wide variety of different kinds of trees and shrubs. Many tree collections have been claimed as the first arboretum, in most cases, the term has been applied retrospectively as it did not come into use until the eighteenth century.
Arboreta differ from pieces of woodland or plantations because they are botanically significant collections with a variety of examples rather than just a few kinds. Of course there are many tree collections that are much older than the eighteenth century in different parts of the world; the most important early proponent of the arboretum in the English-speaking transatlantic world was the prolific landscape gardener and writer, John Claudius Loudon who undertook many gardening commissions and published the Gardener's Magazine, Encyclopaedia of Gardening and other major works. Loudon's Arboretum et Fruticetum Britannicum, 8 vols. is the most significant work on the subject in British history and included an account of all trees and shrubs that were hardy in the British climate, an international history of arboriculture, an assessment of the cultural and industrial value of trees and four volumes of plates. Loudon urged that a national arboretum be created and called for arboreta and other systematic collections to be established in public parks, private gardens, country estates and other places.
He regarded the Derby Arboretum as the most important landscape-gardening commission of the latter part of his career because it demonstrated the benefits of a public arboretum. Commenting on Loddiges' famous Hackney Botanic Garden arboretum, begun in 1816, a commercial nursery that subsequently opened free to the public, for educational benefit, every Sunday, Loudon wrote: "The arboretum looks better this season than it has done since it was planted... The more lofty trees suffered from the late high winds, but not materially. We walked round the two outer spirals of this coil of shrubs. There is no garden scene about London so interesting". A plan of Loddiges' arboretum was included in The Encyclopaedia of 1834 edition. Leaves from Loddiges' arboretum and in some instances entire trees, were studiously drawn to illustrate Loudon's encyclopaedic book Arboretum et Fruticetum Britannicum which incorporated drawings from other early botanic gardens and parklands throughout the United Kingdom. One example of an early European tree collection is the Trsteno Arboretum, near Dubrovnik in Croatia.
The date of its founding is unknown, but it was in existence by 1492, when a 15 m span aqueduct to irrigate the arboretum was constructed. The garden was created by the prominent local Gučetić/Gozze family, it suffered two major disasters in the 1990s but its two unique and ancient Oriental Planes remained standing. Udhagamandalam Arboretum, The Nilgiris, IndiaThe arboretum at Ooty was established in 1992 with an aim of conserving native and indigenous trees, it was established during the year 1992 and maintained by Department of Horticulture with Hill Area Development Programme funds. The micro watershed area leading to Ooty lake where the arboretum is now located, had been neglected and the feeder line feeding water to Ooty was contaminated with urban waste and agricultural chemicals; the area is the natural habitats of both indigenous and migratory birds. During the year 2005-2006, it was rehabilated with funds provided by the Hill Area Development Programme by providing permanent fencing, a footpath, other infrastructure facilities.
Both indigenous and exotic tree species are included. The following tree species were planted: Celtis tetrandra, Dillenia pentagyna, Elaeocarpus ferrugineus, Elaeocarpus oblongus, Evodia lunuankenda, Glochidion neilgherrense, Ligustrum perrotetti, Litsaea ligustrina, Litsaea wightiana, Meliosma arnotiana, Meliosma wightii, Michelia champaca, Michelia nilagirica, Pygeum gardneri, Syzygium amothanum, Syzygium montanum, Alnus nepalensis, Viburnum erubescens, Podocarpus wallichianus, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, Rapanea wightiana, Ternstroemia japonica, Microtropis microc
Walnut trees are any species of tree in the plant genus Juglans, the type genus of the family Juglandaceae, the seeds of which are referred to as walnuts. All species are deciduous trees, 10–40 metres tall, with pinnate leaves 200–900 millimetres, with 5–25 leaflets; the 21 species in the genus range across the north temperate Old World from southeast Europe east to Japan, more in the New World from southeast Canada west to California and south to Argentina. The common name walnut derives from Old English wealhhnutu, literally'foreign nut', because it was introduced from Gaul and Italy; the Latin name for the walnut was nux Gallica, "Gallic nut". The generic name comes from Latin jūglans, meaning'walnut, walnut tree'. Tradition has it; this would have the benefit of stimulating shoot formation. In 2014, global production of walnuts was 3.5 million tonnes, led by China with 46% of the world total. Other major producers were Iran; the two most commercially important species are J. regia for timber and nuts, J. nigra for timber.
Both species have similar cultivation requirements and are grown in temperate zones. Walnuts are light-demanding species. Walnuts are very hardy against drought. Interplanting walnut plantations with a nitrogen fixing plant, such as Elaeagnus × ebbingei or Elaeagnus umbellata, various Alnus species, results in a 30% increase in tree height and girth; when grown for nuts, care must be taken to select cultivars that are compatible for pollination purposes. Many different cultivars are available for growers, offer different growth habits and leafing, kernel flavours and shell thicknesses. A key trait for more northerly latitudes of North America and Europe is phenology, with ‘late flushing’ being important to avoid frost damage in spring; some cultivars have been developed for novel ‘hedge’ production systems developed in Europe and would not suit more traditional orchard systems. The leaves and blossoms of the walnut tree appear in spring; the male cylindrical catkins are developed from leafless shoots from the past year.
Female flowers appear in a cluster at the peak of the current year’s leafy shoots. The fruits of the walnut are a type of accessory fruit known as a pseudodrupe, the outer covering of the fruit is an involucre - in a drupe the covering would be derived from the carpel; the nut kernels of all the species are edible, but the walnuts most traded are from the J. regia, the only species which has a large nut and thin shell. J. nigra kernels are produced commercially in the US. Two-thirds of the world export market and 99% of US walnuts are grown in California's Central Valley and in Coastal Valleys, from Redding in the north to Bakersfield in the south. Of the more than 30 varieties of J. regia grown there and Hartley account for over half of total production. In California commercial production, the Hinds' black walnut and the hybrid between J. hindsii and J. regia, Juglans x Paradox, are used as rootstocks for J. regia cultivars because of their resistance to Phytophthora and to a limited degree, the oak root fungus.
However, trees grafted on these rootstocks succumb to black line. In some countries, immature nuts in their husks are preserved in vinegar. In the UK, these are called pickled walnuts and this is one of the major uses for fresh nuts from the small scale plantings. In Armenian cuisine, unripe walnuts, including husks, are eaten whole. In Italy, liqueurs called Nocino and Nocello are flavoured with walnuts, while Salsa di Noci is a pasta sauce originating from Liguria. In Georgia, walnuts are ground with other ingredients to make walnut sauce. Walnuts are used in India. In Jammu, it is used as a prasad to Mother Goddess Vaisnav Devi and as a dry food in the season of festivals such as Diwali; the nuts are rich in oil, are eaten both fresh and in cookery. Walnut oil is expensive and is used sparingly. Walnut oil has been used in oil paint, as an effective binding medium, known for its clear, glossy consistency and nontoxicity. Manos and Stone studied the composition of seed oils from several species of the Rhoipteleaceae and Juglandaceae and found the nut oils were more unsaturated from species which grow in the temperate zones and more saturated for species which grow in the tropical zones.
In the northerly-growing section Trachycaryon, J. cinerea oil was reported to contain 15% linolenate, 2% of saturated palmitate, a maximum concentration of 71% linoleate. In the section Juglans, J. regia nut oil was found to contain from 10% to 11% linolenate, 6% to 7% palmitate, a maximum concentration of linoleate. In the section Cardiocaryon, the nut oils of J. ailantifolia and J. mandshurica were reported to contain 7% and 5% of linolenate, 2% of palmitate, maximum concentrations of 74% and 79% linoleate. Within the section Rhysocaryon, the nut oils of the U. S. native bl
Mahonia is a genus of 70 species of evergreen shrubs and small trees in the family Berberidaceae, native to eastern Asia, the Himalaya and Central America. They are related to the genus Berberis and botanists disagree on whether to recognize a separate Mahonia; some authorities argue Mahonia should be included in Berberis because several species in both genera are able to hybridize, because when the two genera are looked at as a whole, no consistent morphological separation exists except simple versus compound leaves. However, recent DNA-based phylogenetic studies support recognition of Mahonia, though after the removal of several species into the newly-described genera Alloberberis and Moranothamnus. Mahonia species have large, pinnate leaves 10–50 cm long with five to 15 leaflets, flowers in racemes which are 5–20 cm long. Several species are popular garden shrubs, grown for their ornamental spiny, evergreen foliage, yellow flowers in autumn and early spring, blue-black berries; the flowers are borne in terminal clusters or spreading racemes, may be among the earliest flowers to appear in the growing season.
The berries are edible, rich in vitamin C, though with a sharp flavor. Although edible, the plants contain berberine, a compound found in many Berberis and Mahonia species, which can cause vomiting, lowered blood pressure, reduced heart rate and other ill effects when consumed in large quantities; the genus name, derives from Bernard McMahon, one of the stewards of the plant collections from the Lewis and Clark expedition. The type species of the genus is Mahonia aquifolium, from the Pacific coast of North America; the following list includes all recognized species of the genus Mahonia as accepted by Tropicos, Missouri Botanical Garden as of February 2016, sorted alphabetically. For each, binomial name is followed by author citation
The pear tree and shrub are a species of genus Pyrus, in the family Rosaceae, bearing the pomaceous fruit of the same name. Several species of pear are valued for their edible fruit and juices while others are cultivated as trees; the word pear is from Germanic pera as a loanword of Vulgar Latin pira, the plural of pirum, akin to Greek apios, of Semitic origin, meaning "fruit". The adjective pyriform or piriform means pear-shaped; the pear is native to coastal and mildly temperate regions of the Old World, from western Europe and north Africa east right across Asia. It is a medium-sized tree, reaching 10–17 metres tall with a tall, narrow crown; the leaves are alternately arranged, simple, 2–12 centimetres long, glossy green on some species, densely silvery-hairy in some others. Most pears are deciduous. Most are cold-hardy, withstanding temperatures between −25 °C and −40 °C in winter, except for the evergreen species, which only tolerate temperatures down to about −15 °C; the flowers are white tinted yellow or pink, 2–4 centimetres diameter, have five petals.
Like that of the related apple, the pear fruit is a pome, in most wild species 1–4 centimetres diameter, but in some cultivated forms up to 18 centimetres long and 8 centimetres broad. The fruit is composed of the receptacle or upper end of the flower-stalk dilated. Enclosed within its cellular flesh is the true fruit: five'cartilaginous' carpels, known colloquially as the "core". From the upper rim of the receptacle are given off the five sepals, the five petals, the numerous stamens. Pears and apples cannot always be distinguished by the form of the fruit. One major difference is. Pear cultivation in cool temperate climates extends to the remotest antiquity, there is evidence of its use as a food since prehistoric times. Many traces of it have been found in prehistoric pile dwellings around Lake Zurich; the word “pear”, or its equivalent, occurs in all the Celtic languages, while in Slavic and other dialects, differing appellations, still referring to the same thing, are found—a diversity and multiplicity of nomenclature which led Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle to infer a ancient cultivation of the tree from the shores of the Caspian to those of the Atlantic.
The pear was cultivated by the Romans, who ate the fruits raw or cooked, just like apples. Pliny's Natural History noted three dozen varieties; the Roman cookbook De re coquinaria has a recipe for a spiced, stewed-pear patina, or soufflé. A certain race of pears, with white down on the undersurface of their leaves, is supposed to have originated from P. nivalis, their fruit is chiefly used in France in the manufacture of perry. Other small-fruited pears, distinguished by their early ripening and apple-like fruit, may be referred to as P. cordata, a species found wild in western France and southwestern England. Pears have been cultivated in China for 3000 years; the genus is thought to have originated in present-day Western China in the foothills of the Tian Shan, a mountain range of Central Asia, to have spread to the north and south along mountain chains, evolving into a diverse group of over 20 recognized primary species. The enormous number of varieties of the cultivated European pear, are without doubt derived from one or two wild subspecies distributed throughout Europe, sometimes forming part of the natural vegetation of the forests.
Court accounts of Henry III of England record pears shipped from La Rochelle-Normande and presented to the King by the Sheriffs of the City of London. The French names of pears grown in English medieval gardens suggest that their reputation, at the least, was French. Asian species with medium to large edible fruit include P. pyrifolia, P. ussuriensis, P. × bretschneideri, P. × sinkiangensis, P. pashia. Other small-fruited species are used as rootstocks for the cultivated forms. According to Pear Bureau Northwest, about 3000 known varieties of pears are grown worldwide; the pear is propagated by grafting a selected variety onto a rootstock, which may be of a pear variety or quince. Quince rootstocks produce smaller trees, desirable in commercial orchards or domestic gardens. For new varieties the flowers can be cross-bred to combine desirable traits; the fruit of the pear is produced on spurs. Three species account for the vast majority of edible fruit production, the European pear Pyrus communis subsp.
Communis cultivated in Europe and North America, the Chinese white pear Pyrus ×bretschneideri, the Nashi pear Pyrus pyrifolia, both grown in eastern Asia. There are thousands of cultivars of these three species. A species grown in western China, P. sinkiangensis, P. pashia, grown in southern China and south Asia, are produced to a lesser degree. Other species are used as ornamental trees. Pear wood is close-grained a