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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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