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 ‘Beurré Brettoneau’

‘Fruit large, more or less pyriform. Skin rough, with brown russet, which considerably covers the greenish-yellow ground, and sometimes with a brownish-red on the side next the sun. Eye uneven, set in a moderately deep basin. Stalk an inch long, stout. Flesh yellowish-white, and when it ripens tender, juicy, and well flavoured. A late dessert pear, in use from March till May; but as it rarely ripens except in very warm summers, the flesh is generally crisp, or at best only half-melting.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.161/1860].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Named for Dr. Brettoneau of Tours, France, in 1846 by its raiser, Major Espéren of Mechlen. [Gard. Chron 1848].

Figured in Le Jardin Fruitier du Muséum [JFM vol.4/1861] and Album to Pomologie [ADP vol.2, pl.13/1849], the illustration used here.


History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue in an Addendum as ‘Beurré Brettoneau’ [Pear no.36/1857]. This is amended in Macarthur’s hand to ‘Beurré Bretoneau’ in a copy of the catalogue used by him for this purpose [Pear no.36/1850]. In the same copy the number ‘36’ is changed to ‘39’ and this aligns with the diary numbering. ‘39.  Melting, large, of first class.’ [Diary B, MP A2951/1862]. An additional note in the diary records that ‘The following all from Vietch’. This appears to include all the pears numbered from 36 -70 in the uncorrected 1857 catalogue but this is by no means clear.


Published May 19, 2010 - 03:23 PM | Last updated Jul 22, 2011 - 01:56 PM

The figure shows 2 pears with stem and leaves, both green heavily marked with russet. Album de Pomologie  vol.2, pl.13, 1849.

Pear ‘Beurré Brettoneau’ | ADP vol.2, pl.13/1849 | Pomologische Bibliothek. Beurré Brettoneau is the pear on the right.


Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, Belgium

  • Docteur Bretonneau 


Common Name

Dessert Pear, spring

Name in the Camden Park Record

Beurré Brettoneau

Confidence level high