Thomas Jefferson planted a 'Seckel Pear' at Monticello in 1807, and said that this variety "exceeded anything I have tasted since I left France, and equalled any pear I had seen there." A.J. Downing, America's foremost nineteenth-century pomologist, agreed, saying "We do not hesitate to pronounce this American pear the richest and most exquisitely flavored variety known. In its highly concentrated, spicy and honied flavor, it is not equaled by any European variety. When we add that the tree is the healthiest and hardiest of all pear trees, it is easy to see that we consider no garden complete without it. It is believed to have originated on a farm outside of Philadelphia."
The fruit of the Seckel Pear ripens in early fall, with its skin turning to dull yellowish-brown with a russet red cheek. Its flesh is whitish, buttery, very juicy and melting, with a spicy flavor and aroma.
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Seckel Pear.
Typical Blooming Dates: March - April
Growth Type: Deciduous Tree
Blossom color(s): White
Hardiness Zones: 4 - 7
Location at Monticello: South Orchard
Planting Conditions: Full Sun