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 ‘Duchesse d’Angoulême’

‘Fruit large, roundish-oblong, tapering towards the stalk, with an extremely uneven knobby surface, usually measuring about three inches and a half each way, or four inches deep, and three inches and a half in diameter, but sometimes much larger. Eye deeply sunk in an irregular hollow. Stalk an inch long, stout, deeply inserted in an irregular cavity. Skin dull yellow, copiously and irregularly spotted with broad russet patches. Flesh rich, melting, very juicy, and high-flavoured, with a most agreeable perfume. Ripe in October and November.’ [George Lindley – Orchard Guide p.372/1831].



Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The original tree of Duchesse d’Angoulême was a wilding growing in a garden near Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France. About 1808, M. Audusson, a nurseryman at Angers, appreciating the beauty and excellent quality of the pear, obtained the right to propagate it. In 1812 he began selling trees of the variety under the name of “Poire des Eparonnais.” In 1820, M. Audusson sent a basket of the fruit to the Duchesse d’Angoulême with a request for permission to name the pear in her honor, a request which was granted. At the exhibition of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society held in 1830, Samuel G. Perkins showed a specimen which measured eleven and three-tenths inches. It was the only one that grew on the tree, and was considered to be the first fruit of this variety produced in America. The American Pomological Society added Duchesse d’Angoulême to its catalog-list of fruits in 1862.’ [Pears of New York p.156].

Originated from Éparonnais, near Champigné in Anjou about 1812 [HP pl.LXVI/1878]. Also figured in Saint-Hilaire pl.56/1828.



History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue in an Addendum as ‘Duchesse d’Augoulême’. This is amended in Macarthur’s hand to ‘Duchesse d’Angoulême’ in a copy of the catalogue used by him for this purpose [Pear no.56/1857]. ‘56. Very large, good bearer.’ [Diary B, MP A2951/1862]. Obtained from Veitch’s Nursery, probably the original Exeter premises.




Published May 20, 2010 - 03:23 PM | Last updated Jul 22, 2011 - 01:22 PM

Figured is a knobbly, irregular pear with green skin covered with russet + a pear sectioned. Pears of New York p.156, 1921.

Pear ‘Duchesse d’Angoulême’ | Pears of New York p.156/1921 | BHL


Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, France

  • Éparonnais
  • Duchess de Pézénas


Common Name

Dessert Pear, autumn

Name in the Camden Park Record

Duchesse d’Augoulême 



Confidence level high