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 ‘Calebasse Grosse’

‘Fruit very large, sometimes measuring six inches long, pyramidal. Skin greenish-yellow, considerably covered with dark grey russet in the shade, and entirely covered with light brown russet on the side next the sun. Eye small, set in a pretty deep basin. Stalk an inch long. Flesh coarse-grained, crisp, juicy, and sweet, ripe in October. Its size is its only recommendation.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.174/1830].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Originated by Van Mons in 1823.’ [Pears of New York p.486].

Figured in Le Jardin Fruitier du Muséum as ‘Calebasse’ [JFM vol 4/1861].  Also figured in Saint-Hilaire pl.58/1828, the illustration used here.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue in an Addendum as ‘Beurré Calibasse grosse’. This is amended in Macarthur’s hand to ‘Beurré Calebasse grosse’ in a copy of the catalogue used by him for this purpose [Pear no.47/1850]. In the same 1857 catalogue the number ‘47’ is changed to ‘38’ and this aligns with the diary numbering. ‘47.  Bad.’ [Diary B, MP A2951/1862]. Obtained from Veitch’s Nursery, probably the original Exeter premises.


Published May 20, 2010 - 02:35 PM | Last updated Jul 22, 2011 - 01:40 PM

Figured are 2 large pears, one green the other uneven in shape and covered with brown russet.

Pear Calibasse Grosse | Saint-Hilaire pl.58/1828 | BHL. Calibasse Grosse is the bottom pear.


Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, Belgium

  • Calebasse Carafon
  • Calebasse
  • Monstre
  • Calebasse Monstrueuse du Nord
  • Calebasse Royale
  • Triomphe de Hasselt
  • Van Marum


Common Name

Dessert Pear, autumn

Name in the Camden Park Record

Beurré Calibasse grosse 

Confidence level high