Pyrus kawakamii. EVERGREEN PEAR. Taiwan, China
ROSACEAE (Rose family)

This small tree, with very attractive glossy 3-inch leaves, broadly oval and kawakamii with a point, puts on a good display of white blossom in spring, but bears Rosaceae only minute pears. At Stanford it normally does not drop its leaves in winter, but many did in the unusual freeze of December 1972, as did the Chinese elms. In December the first flowers appear, and the first week of January the trees are in full bloom, offering the only sign of approaching spring. By contrast, as late as March or April, the ashes, birches, erythrinas, catalpas, liquidambars, London planes, and pistaches are conspicuous on campus by their reluctance to venture even new leaves, let alone flowers. Four [one survivor as of 10/2008] specimens grow around the northwest corner of Dinkelspiel Auditorium and a row of five is on the north side of Braun Music Center.

A spectacular formal planting of 60 of the deciduous cousin P. calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ is in the circular walled garden behind Schwab Residential Center adjacent to Vidalakis Hall. At Rains Houses, sheltered walkways leading from Bowdoin Street at both ends of Hilgard Court are lined with groups of 16 P. calleryana that retain colored leaves to the end of the year, with no thought of flowering. At the north front of Braun Music Center are several deciduous P. calleryana ‘Bradford’. All have orbicular leaves and begin flowering in early February.

The common pear (P. communis) can be found in private campus gardens.

Illustrations: canopy, Dinklespiel near White Plaza | habit, Green Library East, 4/01/04

Additions/Revisions:

Name derivation, genus | species Latin name for pear | city in central Japan

Related material: Canopy Trees for Palo Alto Tree Library

Botanical name index | Common name index | Family
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