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 ‘Élisa d’Heyst’

‘Fruit above medium size, large irregular-oval, widest in the middle and tapering towards the eye and the stalk. Skin smooth and shining, yellowish-green, clouded with russet about the stalk, and covered with russet dots. Eye closed, set in a deep, irregular basin. Stalk half an inch long, stout, and inserted without depression. Flesh melting, juicy, sugary, and richly flavoured. Ripe in February and March.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.185/1860].



Horticultural & Botanical History

Obtained by Major Espéren of Mechlin, Belgium, in the 1840s [Pears of New York p.375]. First described by Bivort in 1847 [Leroy – Dictionaire de Pomologie vol.2, p.126/1869]. M. Emile of Heyst-op-den-Berg continued the Major’s fruit collection and this pear was probably named in honour of a member of his family, perhaps his wife.



History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue in an Addendum as ‘Elize d’Heyst’. This is amended in Macarthur’s hand to ‘Eliza d’Heyst’ in a copy of the catalogue used by him for this purpose [Pear no.57/1857]. ‘57.  Large [2 words undeciphered] melting, first rate.’ [Diary B, MP A2951/1862]. Obtained from Veitch’s Nursery, probably the original Exeter premises.




Published May 20, 2010 - 03:30 PM | Last updated Jul 22, 2011 - 01:19 PM

Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, Belgium

Common Name

Dessert Pear, winter

Name in the Camden Park Record

Elize d’Heyst 



Confidence level high