Callery pear


Cal·​le·​ry pear ˈka-lə-rē- How to pronounce Callery pear (audio)
variants or callery pear
: 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

Note: The Callery pear is native to China, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea. Its twigs are often tipped with a single thorn.

: any of several thornless ornamental cultivars of the Callery pear
Callery pears … have earned both a 2005 Urban Tree of the Year award … and a place on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service list of highly invasive plants in the Mid-Atlantic.Susan Milius
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

Word History


after the New Latin specific epithet calleryana, after Joseph-Marie Callery †1862 French priest and sinologist

Note: 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, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Callery pear was in 1960

Dictionary Entries Near Callery pear

Cite this Entry

“Callery pear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

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