Pyrus communis 'Comice' (European Pear)
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Pyrus communis, commonly referred to as the common or European pear, is a species of pair tree native to central Europe and the Middle East, from which a large variety of pear cultivars are descended. Pyrus communis typically flowers in the spring, and produces edible fruit.
The 'Comice' cultivar, also called the 'Doyenné du Comice,' is one of the original few commercially produced pear cutlivars, and was created in France in the 1840s! 'Comice' grows to between 15' and 20' tall; most commercially available pear trees are actually grafted, where the rootstock is chosen for hardiness and tolerance of a wide-variety of soil conditions, and the rootstock typically determines the tree's size. In this case, the top half of the 'Comice' graft was selected for its juicy, fragrant, and soft fruits and its profuse fruit set as it grows older. 'Comice' is also moderately resistant to fire blight.
'Doyenné du Comice' begins flowering with 5-petaled white blooms in early to mid spring, and mature fruit set follows by early fall; the early to mid spring window of April and May is important, as pear trees rely on cross-pollination to produce fruit, so at least one nearby pear tree of a different cultivar with a similar bloom window is a necessity - 'Moonglow' is one such cultivar. Pyrus communis flowers are attractive, fragrant, and a valuable food source to butterflies and other pollinators. In the fall, after fruit set, leaves turn to beautiful shades of red and yellow, adding further interest.