FLORIDA BARTLETT PEAR [HOOD PEAR]
The Hood Pear is a cross between the European Pyrus communis and the Asian Pyrus pyrifolia that has the soft, toothsome texture of the European types. A golden yellow pear of average size, the Florida Bartlett or Hood Pear, has the soft buttery flesh one expects from the dessert pears that can be eaten raw when ripe. Though its texture is European, its taste tends more to the pineapple flavor found in some Asian varieties. The tree requires about 150 chill hours, a low threshold, so can be grown in the zones of the Gulf Coast and Florida (Climate Zones 8-10). It requires a pollinator of another type—and in the hot zones that other variety frequently happens to be the Florida Home Pear. The tree flowers in March, and the fruit ripens in June and July, making it an early market variety with greater size and better taste than the Early Harvest Pear.
Early in the twentieth century the pear was called the Florida Bartlett. In the 1920s it was rebranded the “Hood Pear.” Under that new name, some confused souls thought it a new strain.
Image:"U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705" Bertha Heiges, 1904.