ANJOU PEAR [Beurre d'Anjou]
The most important autumn-winter pear, the Anjou [Buerre d’Anjou] boast substantial size, a handy obtuse shape, and, when ripe, a buttery rich flavor. Grown in both dwarf and standard sizes, the fruit does not alter from its basic yellowish green over the season. “The tree is very vigorous, erect and handsome in its growth, , with large, luxuriant, wavy folded leaves, on long petioles, giving the tree a distinct aspet among others. It bears young and moderately; the fruit on the ends of the branches generally, and very regularly distributed: (“Buerre Diel and Beurre d’Anjou Pears,” Genesee Farmer 14, 2 (March, 1853) A red version, developed from a sport of the original green, has been available for a generation. Bearing in October and November, it has a fine grain, a vinous flavor, and a drench of juice. It did not flourish in the South, as it did in the Northwest where it survives as a major crop pear.
Said to be a native of Belgium, it was introduced into the United States during the antebellum period. Col. Marshall P. Wilder of Massachusetts, president of that state’s Horticultural Society, produced the first American fruit in 1845. It initial dissemination was in the Northeast. It received the imprimatur of the American Pomological Congress in 1852. Yet is was found not to thrive in the warmer climates zones on the Gulf Coast and in the Lowcountry. It is now grown in zones 5 through 8.
Nurseries that sold the Anjou prior to 1920:
Atlanta Nurseries, Atlanta, GA 1891. Blue Grass Nurseries, Lexington, KY 1909. Cedar Cover Nursery, Salem, NC 1893. Clingman Nursery & Orchard, Keithville, LA 1908. Forest Nursery, Fairview, KY 1870. Eastern Shore Nurseries, Denton, MD 1900. Emporia Nurseries, Emporia, VA 1904. Excelsior Nurseries, Rome, GA 1890. Frederick Nursery, Frederick, MD 1897. Fruitlands, Augusta, GA 1893. W. T. Hood's Old Dominion Nurseries, 1907. Hopewell Nurseries, Fredricksburg, VA 1859. Huntsville Wholesale Nursery, Huntsville, AL 1892. Kentucky Nursery, Louisvile, KY 1897. Milford Nurseries, Milford, DE 1890. A. F. Mosby, Richmond Commercial Nurseries, Richmond, VA 1897. Munson Hill Nurseries & Greenhouses, Falls Church, VA 1908. Peachland Nurseries, Seaford, DE 1895. Pomaria Nurseries, Pomaria, SC 1856. Pomona Nurseries, Pomona, NC 1899. Silverlear Nursery, Boone's Path, VA 1888. Staunton Nurseries, Staunton VA, 1858.
Image: "U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705" Ellin I. Schutt, 1910.