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 ‘Suzette de Bavay’

‘Fruit medium sized, turbinate. Skin yellow, covered with numerous large russet dots and traces of russet. Eye open, placed in a shallow, undulating basin. Stalk an inch long, inserted in a small cavity. Flesh melting, juicy, sugary, and vinous, with a pleasant perfume. Ripe in January and February.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.215/1860].



Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Major Esperen of Mechlin, Bel., obtained this long-season pear. It fruited first in 1843.’ [Pears of New York p.558].

Raised by Major Esperin of Malines in Belgium, between 1830 and 1840, and named for Madame de Bavay, the wife of a nurseryman at Vilvorde, near Brussels. [HP pl.XXVIII/1878]. Also figured in Le Jardin Fruitier du Muséum [JFM vol.4/1861].

Rivers’ describes it as ‘an excellent late pear; in a warm season and situation, melting; otherwise half melting, but always good.’ [Rivers’ Catalogue of Fruit for 1853 and 1854].



History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue in an Addendum as ‘Suzette de Baray’. This is amended in Macarthur’s hand to ‘Suzette de Bavay’ in a copy of the catalogue used by him for this purpose [Pear no.67/1857]. ‘67. Large, melting, first rate.’ [Diary B, MP A2951/1862]. Obtained from Veitch’s Nursery, probably the original Exeter premises.




Published May 20, 2010 - 05:06 PM | Last updated Jul 22, 2011 - 10:59 AM

Figured are 6 pears, mostly roundish, green or yellow skin, streaked or mottled with russet. Herefordshire Pomona pl.28, 1878.

Pear Susette de Bavay | HP pl.XXVIII/1878 | RBGS. Susette de Bavay is the golden pear in the centre.


Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, Belgium

Common Name

Dessert Pear, winter

Name in the Camden Park Record

Suzette de Baray 



Confidence level high