tree and shrub are a species
in the family Rosaceae
bearing the pomaceous
fruit of the same name.
Several species of pear are valued for their edible fruit and juices
while others are cultivated as trees.
The pear is native to coastal and mildly
temperate regions of the Old
World, from western Europe and north Africa east right across
Asia. It is a medium-sized tree, reaching 10–17 metres
(33–56 ft) tall, often with a tall, narrow crown; a few
species are shrubby.
The leaves are alternately arranged,
simple, 2–12 centimetres (0.79–4.72 in) long, glossy green on
some species, densely silvery-hairy in some others; leaf shape varies
from broad oval to narrow lanceolate. Most pears are deciduous,
but one or two species in southeast Asia are evergreen.
Most are cold-hardy, withstanding temperatures between ?25 °C
(?13 °F) and ?40 °C (?40 °F) in winter,
except for the evergreen species, which only tolerate temperatures down
to about ?15 °C (5 °F).
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