Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Pyrus communis ‘Ananas de Courtrai’

‘Fruit, large, three and a half to four inches long, and two and three-quarters to three inches wide; pyramidal, and often inclining to oval, undulating and bossed on its surface. Skin, bright green at first, dotted and clouded with fawn-coloured russet, but changing as it ripens to lemon yellow. Eye, half open, with downy segments, and set in a shallow, uneven depression. Stalk, from three-quarters to one and a quarter inch long, very stout, swollen at its insertion, and attached to the fruit on a level with the surface. Flesh, tender, melting, and very juicy, with a rich, sugary, and perfumed flavour. A very handsome and excellent early pear; ripe in August.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.479/1884].



Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The origin of this variety is unknown, but it is believed to have been a chance seedling raised at Courtrai, Flanders, as M. Six. who established himself in that town in the business of a gardener about the year 1784, found it already extensively grown there.’ [Pears of New York p.245].

‘It has been grown rather extensively for many years about Conrtrai, but there is no account preserved of its origin.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.479/1884].



History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue in an Addendum as ‘Ananas Belgie’. This is amended in Macarthur’s hand to ‘Ananas Belgae’ in a copy of the catalogue used by him for this purpose [Pear no.66/1857]. ‘66. Mediocre size, melting, first rate.’ [Diary B, MP A2951/1862]. Obtained from Veitch’s Nursery, probably the original Exeter premises. 




Macarthur’s comment on size makes the identification of his pear as ‘Ananas de Courtrai’ doubtful. Two other pears have been given the name ‘Ananas’, an old French pear of this name, first known as an introduction to Holland in 1650, and ‘Ananas d’Été’, of unknown origin known in Britain under this name or as ‘King William Pear’, suggesting that it was introduced to England in the early 19th century. It should be noted that Leroy considered these pears to be synonymous [Leroy – Dictionnaire de Pomologie vol.1, p.125].

Hogg mentions a fourth pear: ‘The Passe Colmar is sometimes found under this name, but they are totally distinct varieties, and it is very different from the Beurré Ananas of the Belgian pomologists. This is the Ananas of Knoop.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.479/1884]. Elsewhere Hogg provides a description of ‘Beurré Ananas’. ‘Fruit, small; pyriforin, even and regular in its outline. Skin, smooth, yellow, with a blush of red on the side next the sun, streaked with dark crimson. Eye, very small and closed. Stalk, very long and slender, inserted without depression. Flesh, yellowish, half buttery, melting, and very juicy, sweet, and with a powerful musky aroma. An inferior pear; ripe in the end of October. This is different from Ananas.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.510/1884]. The inference is that this is a Belgian pear, although it isn’t actually stated. This is another possibility for Macarthur’s ‘Ananas Belgae’.



Published May 20, 2010 - 05:01 PM | Last updated Jul 22, 2011 - 11:00 AM

Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, Belgium

Common Name

Dessert Pear, summer

Name in the Camden Park Record

Ananas Belgie  



Confidence level low