Roman lard pear

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Roman lard pear, drawing by Wilhelm Lauche

The Roman lard pear is a variety of the pear ( Pyrus communis ). In central Germany it is known under the name Melanchthon pear.


The tree grows large and forms a pyramidal crown. The leaves are egg-shaped without a long tip, also egg-shaped and somewhat heart-shaped, with entire margins or indistinctly serrated and at least woolly on the leaf edge.

The fruits of the variety are pear-shaped, their calyx is flat, completely open and star-shaped. The strong, fleshy stem merges with the fruit without a step. The skin is smooth, light green, later light yellow, flamed or striped to varying degrees on the sunny side, with many fine dots and brownish rust, and around the calyx and stem slightly rusty yellow-brown. The core house is very small with narrow chambers in which a few perfect cores sit. The yellowish white flesh is juicy, slightly grainy, initially a bit tart, when fully ripe it has a pronounced sugar taste. The Roman lard pear ripens unequally from late August to early September and is suitable for any use.


According to early records from the 16th century, this variety is said to have reached Germania with the Romans. After that, the monasteries and landlords spread the pear variety. Thanks to its good resistance, this type of fruit spread further when a small ice age broke in Europe . Since sweet fruits were generally rare during this period, pears continued to spread.

It was named "Melanchthon pear" by Andreas Göch out of gratitude, since Philipp Melanchthon's praise to Elector August about this breed enabled the pastor's sons to be trained at the Princely School. Göch advised his successors to “take care of the tree and wait, etc., to avoid the dear Lord Preceptor [d. H. Melanchthon] sake ”; In 1906 the remains of this Melanchthon pear tree, which was grafted on, stood in the Pegau parish garden.

It is very likely that the pears from Hans-Georg von Ribbeck from Havelland are also this type of pear.

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