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Benita Rafzas® asian pear trees

Pyrus communis x Pyrus pyrifolia

Benita Rafzas is an unusual hybrid pear, which combines the melting sweet flavours of a classic European pear with the crisp juicy texture of an Asian or "Nashi" pear.

As with all Asian pears, the fruits actually resemble golden yellow apples, sometimes with some russet. They also have the crunchy crispness of an apple.

In the UK Benita Rafzas is likely to ripen in late August and early September - around the same time as the well-known Williams pear. The fruits can be eaten fresh, or stored in a fridge for a month or so.

Benita Rafzas asian pear trees for sale

Pot-grown

All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.

  • PG12-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree Quince A rootstock £41.00
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree Quince A rootstock £21.45
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)

How to grow

Benita Rafzas is best treated as an Asian pear when it comes to caring for it in the garden. That means planting it in full sun and giving it plenty of space.

Cropping is generally very light in UK conditions.

It will cross-pollinate with both Asian and European pears which are in flower at the same time - it flowers near the start of the pear blossom season. It is cold-hardy and generally disease-free.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Benita Rafzas was developed from a late-flowering French pear (Pyrus communis) called General Leclerc, which is possibly related to the highly-regarded Doyenne du Comice. It was pollinated with the pollen of an Asian pear variety (Pyrus pyrifolia) called Hosui. It was raised by Peter Hauenstein of Rafz, Switzerland, in the 1980s. (He also developed the Rubinette apple, perhaps the best flavoured of all apples).

Benita Rafzas characteristics

Using

  • Picking monthAugustSeptember
  • CroppingLight
  • Picking seasonEarly
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-2 months
  • Fruit persistenceNormal ripening
  • Flavour qualityGood
  • Food usesEating fresh

Growing

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Flowering group2
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • VigourSlightly large
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • SunlightPrefers full sun
  • PruningLight prune

Problems

  • Disease resistanceGood

Climate

  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climatesWarm climates
  • Cold-hardinessCold-hardy
  • Summer average maximum temperaturesWarm (25-30C / 76-85F)Hot (>30C / 86F)

Identification

  • Country of originSwitzerland
  • Period of origin1950 - 1999
  • Flower colourWhite
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Flesh colourWhite
  • Fruit colourYellow
  • Fruit sizeAverage

Similar varieties

  • Pyrus pyrifolia
    Kumoi
    One of the most popular Asian pears, with a firm flesh and sweet flavour.
  • Pyrus pyrifolia
    Shinseiki
    This popular Asian pear variety is well suited to the UK climate, and produces crisp sweet-flavoured pears.