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Medieval Fruit Varieties

Variety: Pound (1690)

Synonyms: Abbe Mongein, Anderson, Angora, Beute de Tervueren, Beauty of Turvueren, Beauty of Turvensen, Belle Angevine, Belle de Jersey, Bellisime d'Hives du Bur, Berthebirn, Bolivar, Bolivar d'Hiver, Bretagne le Cour, Chamber's Large, Comice de Toulon, Comtesse de Terweuren, Cordelier, D'Horticulture, Dr. Udale's Warden, Duchesse de Berry, Duchesse de Berry d'Hiver, DuTonneau, English Bell, Faux Bolivar, Funtovka, German Baker, Gros fin or long d'Hiver, Grosse Dame Jeanne, Grosse de Bruxelles, La Quintyne, Large Cordelier, Lent St. Germain, Louise Bonne d'Hiver, Pfundbirne, Pickering Pear, Pickering Warden, Piper, Poirie Angora, Royal d'Angleterre, Union, Uvedale's St. Germain, Uvedale's Warden, Winter Bell.

The cultivar originated around 1690. Among some of its synonyms are: Uvedale's St. Germaine, Belle Angevine, Pound, and Bell. Pound tree bears very large pears, which may weigh two to three pounds. Because of its weight, the fruit often drops off the tree before it is suitable for picking. The fruit is obovate-pyriform, yellow with pink blush on the cheek. Its flesh is tough, subacid and has poor quality.

Pound is grown in collections for its monstrous fruits. The pears not infrequently weigh three pounds, and one is noted weighing four pounds, nine ounces. The pears are course in form, texture and flavor - but one degree better in flavor than the potato-like fruits of Kieffer and even more sappy... This is a very old pear of uncertain origin, possibly dating back to Pliny, who wrote about eighty years after the beginning of the Christian era. -- U.P. Hedrick, Cyclopedia of Hardy Fruits, 1922.

Pound Pear. This is one of the largest winter pears, it sometimes weighs from twenty-six to twenty-eight ounces - the form is regular, full and round at the crown, lessening gradually towards the stem, which is long and large - the skin is green, with a brown cheek; it becomes yellow, and the cheek takes a lively red when kept from the air towards the spring; it has a firm flesh, which becomes red like a quince when cooked, for which purpose only, it is preserved through the winter - it is a great bearer; the tree grows large, and is very hardy; these pears should be suffered to hang on the tree as late as possible, they may be kept in bran, chaff or paper, excluded from the air, which preserves their fullness, renders them more juicy and tender, and gives them a fine colour. -- W. Coxe, A view of the cultivation of fruit trees, 1817.

[Source: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). [Online Database] National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Available: (15 May 2011) ]