Rosaceae (Rose) Family
Plant is a well-known, naturalized fruit tree with a broad crown of shiny green foliage and white flowers that appear in early spring. Height is usually about 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 12 inches. Preferred habitat is fence rows, rich woods and borders of forests, near houses and in domestic orchards. Distribution is throughout the Escambia range.
Leaves are 1-3 inches long and 1-2 inches wide; broadly oval-shaped to widest at the middle; finely saw-toothed; becoming nearly hairless; often crowded on spur twigs; shiny green above and paler below. Leaf stalks are slender.
Flowers are less than two inches wide with five rounded white petals; in long stalked clusters. Flowers occur in early spring before most leaves emerge.
Fruit is a pear; green to brown skin; thick, juicy, sweet edible pulp; star-shaped gritty core; matures in late summer. The pear has been cultivated since ancient times. Numerous varieties have been developed from this species and from hybrids. French provincial cabinetmakers prized the light brown wood for dressers, armoires, and other furniture.