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Shepherds Flat Pound Pear


Pyrus communis 'Shepherds Flat Pound Pear' is the name we are giving to this cultivar, at least for now, read on for why this is the case.

The long established name, P. communis 'Pound' as described in The Pears of New York (3), is a very old variety grown for its very large fruit sometimes weighing in at well over 1kg. It is valued more for its keeping and cooking qualities than as a dessert fruit. The tree is described as of medium size, attractive, densely crowned and hardy. Over the centuries the name has been applied to a number of varieties.

The pear we are offering may be different although it still has the attributes of the pear described above. Kate and I found it at a long abandoned Swiss miners hut at Shepherds Flat north of Hepburn Springs in central Victoria after being told about it by a friend. Mia who grew up in the region said her family for years would visit the site to collect the ripe pears which she said were huge, to make jam and because they were attractive. (We also found a melt-in-your-mouth plum which was just perfectly ripe that February day.)

The images here were taken on the day we collected scion wood. They show an immature fruit, but one with a distinctive "waist". This is quite different to the depiction of 'Pound' in The Pears of New York (3) which is used by at least one other Victorian based source of old fruit trees to illustrate a Pound pear they sell. It would be interesting to see an image of the fruit produced by their trees.

Until we know otherwise and given that 'Pound' has been applied to more than one cultivar we will call the tree we have for sale P. communis 'Shepherds Flat Pound Pear'.

images © Hetitage Fruit Trees