Plymouth pear (Eng), Peral silvestre, peretero (Spa), atxereondoa, makatza (Baq), estripio, estripo (Glg), escalheiro, espinheiro (Por).
“The hard pear ripens with time”.
This is a deciduous shrub or tree up to 15 m tall, more or less pyramidal in form with greyish bark and thorny twigs that are hairy when they are young. The leaves blade is 3-6 cm long and 1.5-5 cm wide. They are deciduous, alternate (this character is best seen in the middle part of the branches, as at the ends they are very close together), oval or rounded, and end in a point. They sometimes have a heart-shaped or straight base, and they are somewhat serrated on the margin. The leaves are hairy when they sprout, but they gradually lose these hairs and are hairless when mature. The white flowers develop in groups between April and June. The peduncle or stalk of the fruit is what best distinguishes this species from the other two pear trees described here, as it is 1-1.3 mm wide and flexible. The pears are globose, and red, yellow or brown when ripe,
This pear tree grows in the fringes of, e.g., birch, beech, and oak forests, thickets, hedges, roadsides and orchards, and cleared areas. It is indifferent to substrate and can grow on all soil types. It lives from sea level up to altitudes of around 1500 m.
This species occurs all over eastern, central and western Europe, northern Africa, Anatolia and Kurdistan. On the Iberian Peninsula it is found in the centre and north of Portugal, the communities of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, the Basque country, Navarra, and the northernmost provinces of Castilla y León.