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Pyrus Linn.


Description from Flora of China

Trees or shrubs, deciduous, rarely semievergreen, sometimes armed. Leaves alternate, simple, petiolate, stipulate, involute in bud, venation camptodromous, margin serrate or entire, rarely lobed. Inflorescences corymbose-racemose. Flowers precocious or synantherous. Hypanthium cupular. Sepals 5, reflexed or spreading. Petals 5, white, rarely pink, clawed. Stamens 15–30; anthers usually dark red or purple. Ovary inferior, 2–5-loculed, with 2 ovules per locule; styles 2–5, free. Pome with juicy pulp, rich in stone cells, 2–5-celled, with cartilaginous endocarp (core), with persistent or caducous sepals; seeds black or blackish brown, seed coat cartilaginous; cotyledons plano-convex.

Pyrus taihangshanensis S. Y. Wang & C. L. Chang (J. Henan Agric. Coll. 1980(2): 10. 1980), described from Henan, requires further study. We are unable to treat it in this account because we have seen no specimens. The same applies to Pyrus aria var. silvestrii Pampanini (Nuovo Giorn. Bot. Ital., n.s., 17: 290. 1910), described from Hubei, which may belong to Sorbus.

About 25 species: N Africa, Asia, Europe; 14 species (eight endemic) in China.

(Authors: Gu Cuizhi (Ku Tsue-chih); Stephen A. Spongberg)


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