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Pitmaston Duchess pear trees

Pyrus communis
Pitmaston Duchess
Pitmaston Duchess is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Picking season: Late
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Flowering group: 4
  • Awards: RHS AGM (former) 1993
Pitmaston Duchess is a traditional English dual-purpose, noted for the very large size of its pears.
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Pitmaston Duchess pear trees for sale

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree Pyrodwarf rootstock £40.50
    Large tree (3m-5m after 10 years)
Pre-ordering

You can pre-order now, deliveries start in September.

Delivery charges

Delivery for a single tree starts at £9.95. It is calculated when you add trees to your basket, based on your postcode.

Pitmaston Duchess is a traditional English pear, described by the Victorian fruit expert Robert Hogg as "A very handsome pear of the finest quality".

Although usually catalogued as a dual-purpose pear, its excellent flavour means it should be considered first and foremost a dessert pear.

It also has particularly attractive spring blossom.

 

How to grow

Pitmaston Duchess is a triploid variety - one of the reasons for its larger than average fruit size. However this means it will not pollinate other pear varieties, so you will need at least one other compatible pear tree nearby to pollinate it, preferably two.

The tree is vigorous, as might be expected, but to achieve exhibition quality fruit size make sure you thin the fruitlets in late May.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Pitmaston Duchess was introduced in the 1840s by John Williams of Pitmaston in Worcestershire. It is a cross between two well-regarded European pears, Glou Morceau and Duchess d'Angouleme. Williams appears to have named it Pitmaston Duchess d'Angouleme, but the famous Victorian pomologist Robert Hogg decided to call it Pitmaston Duchess, and this is the name that has stuck.

Pitmaston Duchess characteristics

Growing

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Flowering group4
  • Pollinating othersPoor

Using

  • Picking seasonLate
  • CroppingLight
  • Keeping (of fruit)2-3 weeks
  • Food usesEating freshCulinaryDual purpose

Problems

  • Disease resistanceAverage

Identification

  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Period of origin1800 - 1849
  • Blossom colourWhite
  • Fruit colourGreen / YellowRusset
  • Flesh colourCream
  • AwardsRHS AGM (former)

Similar varieties

  • See also Glou Morceau
    Glou Morceau
    A traditional 18th century Belgian pear with a notably rich sweet flavour.