Definition of Callery pear
1 : a deciduous tree (Pyrus calleryana) of the rose family that has upright branches forming a conical crown, heart-shaped glossy leaves with finely serrated margins, showy clusters of white flowers, and small, bitter, brownish round fruits ◆The Callery pear is native to China, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea. Its twigs are often tipped with a single thorn. The resulting seedlings are Callery pear … that nobody wants growing in their yard since it has thorns and an awful smell to the flowers. — Harvey Cotton, Huntsville (Alabama) Times, 27 June 2009 You have a great tree. It is a callery pear, which is the parent of the ornamental pear varieties sold in nurseries today. — Howard Garrett, Dallas Morning News, 27 Feb. 1998
2 : any of several thornless ornamental cultivars of the Callery pear Callery pears, Pyrus calleryana, have earned both a 2005 Urban Tree of the Year award (for the Chanticleer cultivar) and a place on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service list of highly invasive plants in the Mid-Atlantic. — Susan Milius, Science News, 9 May 2009; especially : bradford pear … the campaign to curtail the planting of ornamental Bradford pears (also called callery pears). These trees are notorious for “weak crotches,” which are right where the heavy snow broke off limbs. — Michael Martin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 19 Feb. 2010
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:
- 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of callery pear
after the New Latin specific epithet calleryana, after Joseph-Marie Callery †1862 French priest and Sinologist ◆The taxon Pirus (Pyrus) calleryana was introduced by the Belgian-born botanist Joseph Decaisne (1807-82) in Le jardin fruitier du Muséum [national d’histoire naturelle], tome 1., Paris, 1871-72, p. 329. According to Decaisne, the specimen in the Paris Natural History Museum (Muséum national d’histoire naturelle) had been brought from China by Callery (1810-62), who was active as a missionary, diplomat, and scholar in East Asia from 1835 through the 1850’s.
First Known Use: 1960
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up Callery pear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).