History: The Passe Crassane pear originated in France where it was grown by Louis Boisbunel in 1845 and first bore fruit in 1855. It quickly became popular and was grown in France, Italy, and Spain and commonly exported to Germany and England. The stems were sealed with a red wax to keep in moisture during the pear's long ripening period which became a symbol of the variety. Although its susceptibility to blight has caused its popularity to decline since then, it is still grown on a small scale in parts of France and Italy.
Why We Grow It: This French winter pear is aromatic, floral, and fruity with a melting texture. It is best enjoyed after 4-5 months in storage, usually around February to March. Although the tree is hardy, it is susceptible to mildew and fireblight.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 5
Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam. Prefers average to moist conditions with well-drained soils, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Weak to moderately vigorous with a compact growth habit, hardy, has decent crops. Somewhat susceptible to scab and very susceptible to mildew and fireblight but somewhat resistant to coddling moth.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Requires a pollinator of a different pear variety (European or Asian) that blooms around the same time
Flowering Time: Middle, flowers tolerant of late frosts
Ripens: Late October, best eaten February to March
Storage: Keeps until April when stored in cool, humid conditions
Recommended Use: Fresh eating
Size including roots:
- 1m+ Whip: 100cm+
- 1m+ Branched: 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
- <1m Whip: less than 100 cm