Alphonse Karr

Fruit, about medium size, two inches and a half wide and about the same high; roundish ovate, even and regular in its outline, pinched in towards the stalk. Skin, entirely covered with a crust of cinnamon russet. Eye, very small and open, set almost level with the surface. Stalk, slender, half an inch long, inserted in a small round cavity. Flesh, yellowish, crisp, coarsegrained, rather sweet, and with a slight perfume.

An inferior pear; ripe in the beginning of November. The French pomologists describe it as a variety of the first quality, and no doubt it is so in that climate.

It was raised by Major Esperen, of Malines, and first fruited in 1849.


This variety is enumerated in the Catalogue of the Horticultural Society as having once existed in the Society's Garden, but now either lost or discarded as unworthy of cultivation. It is described as of medium size, obovate shape, green on the shaded side, and brown on the other. Flesh, buttery.

It is of second-rate quality as a dessert pear, is ripe in November, and the tree succeeds as a standard.

Althorp Crasanne

Fruit, rather above the medium size, two inches and three-quarters wide, and two inches and a half high; roundish obovate, widest in the middle, and tapering gradually to the apex, which is somewhat flattened, but rounding towards the stalk. Skin, pale green, with a slight tinge of brown on the side exposed to the sun, and covered with minute russety dots. Eye, rather large and open, placed in a shallow and slightly plaited basin. Stalk, an inch and a half long, slender, curved, and not deeply inserted. Flesh, white, buttery, and juicy, with a rich and slightly perfumed flavour.

A dessert pear of the finest quality, which ripens in October, and continues in use till December. The tree is hardy, vigorous, and an excellent bearer.

It succeeds best as a standard, and is found to produce fruit of superior quality even in soils that are unfavourable to the growth of pears generally.

This esteemed variety was raised by Mr. T. A. Knight, and first produced fruit in 1830. Mr. Knight says : - "As a dessert pear the Althorp Crasanne is, to my taste, the best; and its rose-water flavour will please where musk offends."

Amadotte (Damadote; Madot; Dame Houdotte; L'Amadot Masque d'Hiver; Muskirte Winteramadot)

Fruit, medium sized, two inches and three-quarters wide, and the same in height; of a roundish obovate shape, and flattened at the apex. Skin, thin, of a pale green colour, which changes as it ripens to clear lemon yellow; but where exposed to the sun it is of a deeper yellow and faintly tinged with red. In some parts it is thickly marked with rough brown russety dots, particularly round the eye, and sometimes it is entirely covered with fine cinnamon russet, except on some parts that are very much shaded, and then the ground colour appears. Eye, half open, with long acuminate segments, and placed in a small and sometimes pretty deep basin. Stalk, stout, an inch and three-quarters long, obliquely inserted on the summit of the fruit, with a fleshy protuberance on one side of it. Flesh, yellowish white, crisp and juicy, half melting, like Passe Colmar, and with an unusually sugary, rich, and very strong musky or rather anise flavour, which, as Diel says, "one seldom meets with."

An old French pear, which, for a crisp-fleshed variety, is of first-rate quality. It ripens in the end of October and continues in use till about the middle or end of December.

The tree is a vigorous pyramidal grower, and the branches are furnished with thorns, which Merlet says disappear when grown on the quince. But the fruit is preferable from a tree that is grown on the pear, being more juicy and melting.

Miller says this variety is the best stock for grafting melting pears upon, as it communicates to them a portion of its fine musky flavour. Whether or not such is the case I cannot certify, as I have never tried it; but the following extract will show what upwards of a century ago was.the opinion of this pear : - "This fruit, as well as other dry and perfumed fruits, are much better upon dry soils than upon wet and moist land, the latter bringing large but watery and insipid fruit. Chiefly it should be observed, that all of the melting or butter pears, which seldom are very high flavoured, should be planted in light soils; and it has been an observation worthy notice, that the Buree Pears, or those that are melting like the Thorn Pear, L'Echasserie, etc, are greatly improved by grafting them upon the Amadotte, for the juices or sap of the Amadotte is musked and richly flavoured; and the Burees, or melting pears, which are grafted upon it, are perfumed by it."

The Amadotte has been long known in England. It is one of the varieties which Rea says "are choice pears lately obtained out of France by the diligence of Sir Thomas Hanmer. It is said to have been discovered in a wood in Burgundy belonging to Lady Oudotte, and hence called Dame Oudotte, which has since been changed into Amadotte."

The Amadotte of M. Decaisne, which he figures in the "Jardin Fruitier du Museum," is evidently not the Amadotte of Merlet, Miller, Forsyth, and Diel. This is a long pyramidal-shaped fruit, while the true variety is rather roundish and flattened. M. Tougard has an Amadotte Blanc, which he makes synonymous with Beurré Blanc des Capucins, and M. Decaisne has adopted this as the variety described by Merlet, which I think is a mistake. Jahn. following Decaisne. identifies Beurré Blanc des Capucins with the Amadotte, which he calls Herbst Amadotte; but these are without doubt two very distinct varieties. Neither Tougard, Decaisne, nor Jahn take notice of the remarkably high musky flavour of the fruit; but, on the contrary, the former says it is slightly acid and astringent, and the latter that it has neither perfume nor flavour, characters which agree with Beurré Blanc des Capucins, but not with Amadotte. It is quite evident that Tougard, Prévost, Decaisne, and Jahn have taken Beurré Blanc des Capucins for the true Amadotte.