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Pear (Pyrus communis)—Grant Heilman Photography
Any of several species of trees of the genus Pyrus, especially P. communis, of the rose family, which is one of the most important fruit trees in the world and is cultivated in all temperate-zone countries of both hemispheres. The thousands of varieties include Bartlett (by far the most widely grown), Beurre Bosc, and Beurre d'Anjou. In the U.S., much of the crop is canned; in Europe, pears are more commonly eaten fresh or used for perry (fermented pear juice). The tree is taller and more upright than the apple tree; pear fruits are sweeter and softer than apples. Hard cells (grit, or stone cells) dot the flesh.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on pear, visit Britannica.com.