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 ‘Van Mons Léon Leclerc’

‘Fruit very large, oblong-pyramidal. Skin dull yellow, covered with dots and tracings of russet. Eye open, set in a shallow basin, stalk an inch and a half long, curved, and inserted in a shallow cavity. Flesh yellowish-white, buttery and melting, very juicy, rich, sugary, and delicious. A remarkably fine pear. Ripe in November.’ [Hogg – Fruit Manual p.215/1860].



Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This pear was obtained by M. Léon Leclerc, a distinguished pomologist living at Laval, France, who dedicated it to his friend Van Mons. Desiring to couple his own name with that of his friend, he gave it the name of Van Mons Léon Leclerc, by which appellation it has been known by most authors. The variety first fruited in 1828. There has been a good deal of confusion as to the identity of this pear, owing to the fact that Van Mons raised a pear in 1816 which he dedicated to Léon Leclerc. The proper name of the latter pear is Léon Leclerc de Laval, [which see]. There is also a Leon Léclerc de Louvain.’ [Pears of New York p.190].

‘Van Mons Léon Leclerc’ is also figured in the Herefordshire Pomona, described as ‘a very fine pear, of great excellence and often of large size’ [HP pl.LXVIII/1878], and  a pear simply called ‘Léon Leclerc’ is figured in Le Jardin Fruitier du Muséum.



History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue in an Addendum as ‘Van mons de Leon Leclerc’ [Pear no.68/1857]. ‘68. Very large, melting, first rate.’ [Diary B, MP A2951/1862]. Obtained from Veitch’s Nursery, probably the original Exeter premises.

See also ‘Beurré Léon Leclerc’ and ‘Léon Leclerc de Laval’.




Published May 20, 2010 - 05:16 PM | Last updated Jul 22, 2011 - 10:58 AM

Figured are pyramidal pears, 1 sectioned. skin yellow with dots and streaks of russet. Pears of New York p.190, 1921.

Pyrus communis L. var. ‘Van Mons Léon Leclerc’ | Pears of New York p.190/1921 | BHL


Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, France

  • Van Mons Butterbirne


Common Name

Dessert Pear, autumn

Name in the Camden Park Record

Van mons de Leon Leclerc 



Confidence level high