1115 Pyrus pyrifoliaCommon Names: sand pear, pineapple pear, Chinese pear, apple pear Family: Rosaceae (rose Family)
The sand pear is larger than most kinds of pear trees, reaching as high as 40 ft (12 m), with a rounded crown that may spread 20 feet (6 m) or more across. Most individuals are quite smaller, though. In bloom, the tree is almost completely covered with white flowers, putting on a spectacular show in early spring. Individually, the flowers are 1-1.5 in (2.5-3.75 cm) across, with five petals. The fruits are noted for their hardness and grittiness, and many people consider them to be inedible. There are three commonly encountered cultivars in the southern U.S.: 'LeContei' is susceptible to fire blight and the fruit is a typical pear shape; 'Kieffer' produces a large, rounded, very coarse fruit and is tolerant of fire blight; 'Garber' is the most resistant to fire blight, and produces a smaller, rounded, very hard, gritty fruit.
Pyrus pyrifolia is native to China and Japan. Dozens of cultivars are grown in Asia.