This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol4", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
This genus not only includes the Apple, Pear, Quince, and Medlar, but also several fine ornamental flowering trees and shrubs. The North American Chokeberry (P. arbutifolia) (fig. 432) grows about 10 ft. high, and has oblong leaves, woolly beneath, and white flowers. The White Beam Tree (P. Aria), 40 ft. high, is a native of Britain, with variable and coarsely toothed divided leaves, whitish-woolly beneath, and loose corymbs of white flowers. The British Mountain Ash or Rowan Tree (P. Aucuparia) is one of the most largely grown. It grows up to 30 ft. high, and has ornamental pinnate leaves, creamy-white flowers, succeeded by masses of bright orange-red berry-like fruits in autumn. There are several varieties, like asplenifolia, with leaflets deeply cut; aurea, golden-tinted foliage; fructu-lutea, yellow fruited; pendula, drooping; and variegata, with silvery-marked leaves. P. americana seems to be a geographical form.
One of the most ornamental kinds is P. floribunda (a variety of P. Mains), with pale rose-red flowers, which assume brilliant crimson tints in the variety atrosanguinea. The double-flowered form (flore-pleno or Parkmanni) is a good plant, as are Elise Rathke, Niedzwetzhiana, and Schiedeckeri.
Fig. 432. - Pyrus arbutifolia. (2/3).
The Japanese Quince, P. (Cydonia) japonica, has many varieties, varying in colour from white to deep crimson from December to April. Closely related is P. Maulei, also from Japan, which has orange-red flowers in April, followed by fragrant orange-yellow fruits. The False Service Tree (P. pinnatifida or fennica), said to be native of the Isle of Arran, has pinnately cut leaves and white sweet-scented flowers in May and June, succeeded by scarlet fruits. The True Service Tree (P. domestica) has pinnate leaves, creamy-white flowers, and red pear-shaped fruits.
The Siberian Crab (P. prunifolia) has many charming varieties, with Cherry-like leaves, white Pear-like flowers, and yellowish and red fruits of an agreeable acidulous flavour. Closely related is the Siberian Cherry Crab (P. baccata). The Chinese Crab (P. spectabilis) has pale-red semi-double flowers in April and May; and the Wild Service Tree (P. torminalis) resembles P. Aria in appearance, but the leaves are not woolly white beneath. There are several other kinds of Pyrus.