Pyrus bretschneideri an interspecific hybrid of Pyrus pyrifolia x Pyrus ussuriensis - fireblight resistant

Have brought up the relationship indirectly many times of these interspecifics we love very much Pyrus × bretschneideri - Wikipedia

Pyrus × bretschneideri (or Pyrus bretschneideri), the ya pear or pearple or Chinese white pear [1] (Chinese: 白梨; pinyin: báilí), is an interspecific hybrid species of pear native to North China, where it is widely grown for its edible fruit.

Chinese white pear
Pyrus bretschneideri (Nashi).jpg220x338
Scientific classificationedit16x16
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Pyrus
Species: P. × bretschneideri

" Pyrus × bretschneideri


Chinese white pear flower

Recent molecular genetic evidence confirms some relationship to the Siberian pear (Pyrus ussuriensis), but it can also be classified as a subspecies of the Chinese pear Pyrus pyrifolia.

Along with cultivars of P. pyrifolia and P. ussuriensis, the fruit is also called the nashi pear.[2] These very juicy, white to light yellow pears, unlike the round Nashi pears (P. pyrifolia) that are also grown in eastern Asia, are shaped more like the European pear (Pyrus communis), narrow towards the stem end. The “Ya Li” (Chinese: 鸭梨; pinyin: yālí), literally “duck pear” due to its mallard-like shape, is one cultivar widely grown in China and exported around the world. Ya pears taste similar to a mild Bosc pear, but are crisp, with a higher water content and lower sugar content."

" Breeding programs have created cultivars that are the products of further hybridizing P. ×bretschneideri with P. pyrifolia .[3] Under the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, such backcross hybrids are named within the species P. ×bretschneideri .[4] Cultivar ‘PremP109’, also called ‘Prem 109’, is such a hybrid, marketed under the trademark Papple .[5]"

In this older thread The best Asian Pears i said this " The ya li pears I grafted seem like they are growing good. Anyone not familiar withYa Li should review this wiki about duck pears Pyrus × bretschneideri - Wikipedia . Nashi pears are apparently an interspecific pear hybrid pyrus × bretschneideri. These are different than the round nashi pear and are instead shaped like the tradiomal European pears."

See this

And this

And this

And this

Specifically this

" Tsu Li
Breeder(s): unknown; ancient.
History: Origin is lost to time. It is thought to be a P. pyrifolia X P. ussuriensis hybrid known as P. X bretschneiderii . The University of California reports that the ‘Tsu Li’ sold in North America is not the same cultivar as the ‘Tsu Li’ grown in China.
Rootstocks used: P. betulafolia (re-check)
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard A &.
Fruit quality: My tree died of fireblight, but it is said to be sweet, juicy and mild, subacid in flavor with a crisp texture, rather like most Asian pears.
Fruit size: large. About 240 g/fruit according to the University of California.
Fruit appearance: Attractive apple-shaped fruit with golden-yellow, mostly smooth skin and prominent lenticels.
Culinary characteristics: I never got fruit to try.
Storage characteristics: Stores for about 4 months if held at 0°C/ 32°F. I’ve not found information regarding storage in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Unknown from first-hand experience, but mid-late September in Hickman and Davis, CA.
Bloom season: Very early; a few days *** vs Spalding. For a comparison of bloom times with other Asian pears, click here.
Pollination: Ya Li or most other early-flowering pears pollinize it well. Tsu Li makes good pollen, but will not self-pollinize.
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight. My tree died of fireblight. Resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Less precocious than most Asian pears. The University of California stated that Tsu Li typically began to fruit in its 5th year after planting on standard rootstocks, whereas the other Asian cultivars tested began to fruit in their 4th year on the same stocks. In North Carolina, my tree first fruited in its *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: ***.
Growth habit: Very vigorous on “betch”; crotch angles wide for a pear; Dwarfing rootstock recommended, or at least P. calleryana.
References other than my own experience:
Dave Wilson Nursery
James Beutel. 1989. Asian Pears. Small Farm Center, University of California, Davis, CA.
Griggs and Iwakiri. 1977. Asian Pear Varieties in California."

Yaguang Li is a hybrid of P. ussuriensis x P. phaeocarpa which is considered pyrus bretschneideri

@tonyOmahaz5 brings up Yaguang Li and his observations

@Shuimitao brought up Yaguang Li here with explanation for @JustPeachy

With this video

More asian pear cultivars can be viewed here

Pai li is another one like ya li @tonyOmahaz5 told me about


I love the incredible crisp and juiciness of the Ya Li. Coupled with its mild flavor, it’s very pleasant and refreshing. I also taste similarity of Bosc to Asian pear when Bosc is still very firm and hard. It helps to cut a hard Bosc into pieces for consumption.

Regarding Tsu Li, I see different shape of fruit depending on vendor. It could be teardrop shaped (ex1 ex2), or apple shaped (ex3 ex4). Which one is the “real” Tsu Li? @Shuimitao stated the Tsu Li (tearsdrop shaped version) is the Laiyang Li. I can certainly see the resemblence. The lenticles on fruit are unmistakable. The apple shaped version of the Tsu Li seem to be the Dangshan Tsu Li in the video.

The Tsu Li (Laiyang - pear-shaped) is from coastal region with Latitude like Virginia beach.
The Tsu Li (Dangshan - apple-shaped) is from more inland region with Latitude like Columbia South Carolina.

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@clarkinks also found this research paper on Chinese pear industry. Have you read it? I’m giving it read now.

Interestingly it stated BET is used more in North China while Callery was used in South China. And there are many other Chinese pyrus in species other than calleryana, betulifolia and ussuriensis, which I’ve never even hear of.

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Just means crisp pear. It’s more of a type and each region usually has its own strain/cultivar. Also I should point out it should be “ya” pear. Yali pear is redundant. Actually any pear with the trailing Li is somewhat redundant. Li means pear, so you end up calling it Ya pear pear.

This is partially why


I had suspicions Tsu (酥) Li was more of a type or category of pear. But folks here may think it’s a particular cultivar.

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I’m pretty sure it’s written as 慈梨/ Ci Li. Ci in Chinese is pronounced similarly to “Tsu.”

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酥梨 Su Li - “Cripsy Pear”
慈梨 Ci Li - Kind? Pear

@PharmerDrewee, Both exist. Both may be indicating types or lineage of pears instead of cultivars since both are preceded by toponyms to specify specific cultivar. E.g. Laiyang Ci Li or Dangshan Su Li.

It would be like a non-English speaker confusing Russet Apple with a cultivar. But to specify the cultivar with Toponym one would state Hereford Russet or Boston Russet.

In conclusion the concept of Tsu Li as a cultivar may just be fiction based on confusion/lost in translation.


I’m not sure. This is partially messed up by the fact that most of the GRIN labels were based on the old romanization system not the modern pingyin in use now.

Laiyang Ci Li is the only one I know off the top of my head that uses the 慈 character - 莱阳慈梨.

Personally, I think the tsu was translated from 酥 (sū). Phonetically, it makes more sense to me from the way the old romanization system worked. They usually have more explicit consonant translations even for soft pronunciations like ts vs s, but the old and new system don’t really have any variations in vowel usage.

Plus, “酥梨” is an actual category of pear. It’s nomenclature that someone in a grocery store would use. You can google it and the Chinese equivalent of wiki (baidu) will pull up a result.


I think you’re saying 酥梨 Su Li - “Cripsy Pear” is type or lineage or pear while 慈梨 Ci Li only refers to Laiyang Ci Li. Possible.

Regarding tsu=su(pinyin), I don’t think either one of us knows for sure. There are many dialects and romanizations for those dilects in China, so who knows what the original Chinese character was for “Tsu” was. In a common old romanization Wade-Giles, Tsu = xu (pinyin) or possibly T’su=cu, so it doesn’t make sense either since none of them are “su”. “su” in wade giles is actually also just “su”

There are other romanization systems other than Wade-Giles that were or have been in use. Many not formal.

There is no possible way that the Beijing Agricultural University sent Corvallis cultivars written in Hokkien, Wenzhou, or Cantonese romanization etc… In any case even in China, cultivars are written in the mandarin romanization.

The fact that so many of the romanization cultivars are correctly written or have close approximations off by a single consonant means that it can’t be anything other than mandarin. The pyrus collection at Corvallis is actually the easiest to trace to their original cultivars. The Prunus collection at Davis is far far more complicated. The pingyin seems often done by someone who took a remedial hooked-on-phonics course.

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Here’s the record at Corvallis for few pears with cultivar named “Tsu/Tse Li”. Are you positive some weren’t using romanization of a Chinese dialect besides Bejing Mandarin? I am not. People that submitted to Corvallis may not have anything to do with Bejing, as there’s other Chinese speakers outside of PRC. Taiwan for example had better relations with US for most of post-WW2, so it could be very well that the sample to Corvallis could have come from someone from Taiwan. Many Chinese speaking diaspora outside PRC may not be native Mandarin speakers.

It also appears Corvallis has the same cultivar under different names. Compare the images of Tse Li and first Tsu Li below, they are identical. If both cultivar names given to Corvallis are indeed based on two separate Mandarin romanization of the same Chinese word, that could give a some clues to follow up on.

  • Pedigree: local selection from Tse County, Shandong Province complex hybrid of ussuriensis (x bretschneideri)
  • Virus Lab Assays - Negative: PBCVd-2000
  • Virus Biological Assays - Negative: Bosc-1989 M.micromalus-2002 N.Poiteau-1990 P.Crassane-1984 Pyronia-1985 V.Crab-1991
  • Virus Biological Assays - Positive: M.micromalus-2003 N.Poiteau-1987, Negative: V.Crab-1988
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I just noticed that Corvallis indicates “Tse” is a toponym (Tse County), and may not have anything to do with “Tsu”

  • Tse Li = PI 312509 (584.001) - Pyrus ussuriensis Maxim.

  • Pedigree: local selection from Tse County, Shandong Province complex hybrid of ussuriensis (x bretschneideri)

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Yes, because of several other reasons. The translation isn’t always done by the same person or on the same end. This has shown itself several times in the GRIN catalog in other cultivars, not necessarily pyrus. Sometimes it’s the donator that translates. Sometimes it’s the receiver that translates. Hence, especially in the second case you end with minor variations.

I can speak Mandarin and several dialects, I can tell you the variation isn’t as great unless it’s not a mutually intelligible language like Hokkien or Wenzhou. The subdialects are equivalent to me visiting my friend in Boston and listening to a Bostonian accent. They may say the word slightly differently (and wrong btw :slight_smile: ) like pizzer but I still completely understand them with and without context. And even if they say things different, we all write the same way in English the same way as they write the same way in Chinese.

Combine this with the fact that we have misspellings of cultivars that were developed within the continental states because tags and labels are copies of copies that get passed along, and bam, you have another reason there are variations in spelling. Even in those cases, if we drop of vowel or consonant from like asmede kernl aepple, we still know this is a misspelling of ashmead kernel apple or at the very least we know it’s English not french or german, latin, or some rare off the wall cultivar from deep in the jungles discovered and saved by ancient native tribe and passed in their native tongue to colonists who approximated it into their language - spanish or whatever.

Having said all this, it is completely possible that tse li is meant to be separate and distinct from tsu li and not a misspelling. I would consider that possibility for any conflict where two cultivars share similar cultivar names. That said, 酥梨 is 100% a category of pear in China. This is a term that one would find both in nursery and grocery trade. Also, there as is often the case, there are multiple inaccuracies in the GRIN database, which either arises from human error in data entry or just being flat our wrong. There are cases where nectarines are labeled as peaches and vice versa.

China is a big place. I don’t know every location or am well versed in every province. Shandong is a fairly well populated province though, and as far as I am aware, there is no county or district called tse.

I wouldn’t exclude the local dialect as a possibility, but if like in the case of tse, if this was like 中原官话, the consonant use would be different. It’s really no different than if someone wrote out a Bostonian accent. You know that drop of the r exist. Same as in the case of Chinese dialects, there some key traits that would make it apparent it was a dialect.

If this was Wenzhou we might as well be talking Klingon, because there is no way any of you would be able to pronounce any thing correctly.

I always advocate for preserving the original spelling of the cultivar in the native language if possible, because it always helps to prevent these problems. Like recently, I discovered Fire Crystal Persimmon in the US is probably not even the Fire Crystal in China because the Chinese name they used as a syn is a completely a different cultivar.

I think so too, and if 酥梨 is “Tsu Li”, then it’s mistaken by people and also Corvalis that Tsu Li should mean category/type/lineage like “Russet”, rather than a cultivar.

Taiwanese would use mandarin still. And they would be less likely to use some archaic romanization system because it’s far more westernized society. If this was Taiwanese Taiwanese as in Hokkien, it wouldn’t be Li. It’s different in taiwanhua.

The farther we go south from Shandong with like HK, singapore, malaysia, indonesia etc…, places with large diaspora, it makes less and less sense since these are northern china cultivars, and these edge cases are near the equator.

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The listed pronunciations for Li are here.

I do enjoy talking w/ you @JustPeachy though I think we probably took over the thread here. :slight_smile: :grinning:

The main conclusion for me:

  • “Tsu Li” in Chinese is a category/type(maybe lineage) of pear.
  • “Tsu Li” in English is used as a cultivar but there are at least 2 cultivars being sold under “Tsu Li” name

Well you could go down the complete pronunciation list for . Like I was pointing out for dialects, it’s basically going to be the at least decipherable if it’s a mandarin dialect. The differences are minor The only situations where it would be different would be a non-mandarin dialect like Cantonese, Hokkien, etc… You combine this with the locale of these dialects, and you narrow down the list.

Either way, I’m still not completely sold on cultivars being exactly the same here as they are in China. I’ve had the Corvallis Ya Li, and purchased Ya several times from different nurseries. None of them are exactly like Ya from China. Short of a DNA test, I’m positive even with the correct translation, mislabels exist.

Btw, I wouldn’t rely on any nursery photo from China. Their nursery advertising practices are much more lax. Many nurseries for example have no problem using a Bing cherry photo for all red cherries. You can ask @castanea about the headaches we have to deal with regarding correct cultivar photos for jujube and chestnut cultivars.

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I agree, it’s like a big game of telephone, but with scions as medium of exchange.

For the members here that want “Tsu Li” or “Tse Li” or Ci Li, if you want to obtain

I’m positive that somewhere in California there exists the actual Ya Li or Dangshan Li from post-90s or 2000s importation. As with any fruit, usually there are multiple independent importations (probably not legal). The fact that Caimito cultivars are already stateside is quite something.

You mean the Ya Li grown in China and imported to the US markets for sell at Oriental market? If you find some, let me know.