This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
This is a new French variety, originated by M. Clairoeau, of Nantes, and sent out from the French nurseries in 1848 or '49, we believe. It is a very large fruit, and so far as it has been tested both in Massachusetts and New York, gives promise of being a valuable acquisition. Col. Wilder sent us the following description among his notices of new pears that promise well, but we delayed its publication in order to accompany it with a colored drawing.*
"Size - extra large. Form - oblong, ovate pyriform, outline a little irregular. Stem - short and stout, set obliquely and without much depression. Calyx - open, segments short, moderately sunk. Color - brownish green, coarsely clotted and almost entirely covered with russet, sometimes intermixed with dull red on the sunny side. Flesh - melting and jnicy, with an agreeable sub-acid flavor, resembling the Baronne de Mello, but with more aroma. Class - good; will probably prove very good.
" The Beurre Clairgeau has fruited in several gardens in the vicinity of Boston and New York, and promises to be a great acquisition. The tree is a strong, thrifty grower, either on the Pear or Quince root, and comes early into bearing, many trees which were grafted in the spring of 1851 being now full of fruit buds".
Mr. Cabot, President of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, speaks of it as follows, in Hovey's Magazine of March last:
"So far as an opinion, formed by testing one or two specimens and those from imported trees of the first year of bearing, is justifiable, this Pear promises to be, on account of its size, beauty, and quality, a highly valuable acquisition. It is a new Pear, raised from seed by M. Clairoeau, at Nantes, of a yellow russet color, with darker russet specks, and a little red in the sun; very large, with a short, very thick stem; calyx small and open; flesh yellowish white, tender, half melting, of a very pleasant sub-acid flavor, ripening last of October and November; tree a strong grower, wood stout, and appears to come early into bearing".
* Bee Frontlspiece.
The tree is remarkably vigorous, and soon forms a handsome pyramid; succeeds well against a wall with a south or an east aspect; bears abundantly, and at an early age. Fruit variable in form, but generally calebasse-shaped; a superb fruit, weighing sometimes twenty ounces. It gained the first prize of the Horticultural Society Of the Seine, in 1851. Its skin is fine, almost entirely covered with patches of reddish russet when gathered; but at its full maturity, which occurs in November and December, it becomes richly colored with yellow and vermillion. Its flesh is fine, white, melting, very juicy, sugary, and perfumed. Raised by Pierre Clairgeau, a gardener at Nantes.