(Pyrus communis) The common European pear.

The common European pear (Pyrus communis) is one of over thirty species of Pyrus which originated in the Chinese section of the Tien Shan mountain range and spread outward from there. There is evidence that pears were picked from wild trees in Europe long before they were cultivated by the Greeks and Romans 2000 years ago. Several Roman authors described grafting pears to propagate the best varieties. The Chinese were grafting their own kinds of pears around 4000 years ago.

There are over 40 varieties of European pears cultivated, but just four of them account for 95% of production world wide.