[NAFEX] Conference pears set fruit without pollen

Mark Lee markl at nytec.com
Thu May 27 13:12:08 EDT 2004

Parthenocarpic means the ability to set fruit without pollination.
Conference is a pear variety that has this ability.  The parthenocarpic
fruits are seedless and are smaller than fruit of the same variety that
is successfully fertilized, at least for pears.  I have Conference and
Flemish Beauty pears in my backyard, but only Conference set fruit this
year.  I think the fruit that did set are not the result of pollination.
I will know for sure in the fall when I cut into them and look at the

I had a thought this morning that one could make seedless pears on
purpose, just like seedless oranges.  After thinking about this I
realized that although the pears would be seedless, they still would
have the papery pieces in the core that normally surround the seeds
(endocarp).  I don't see anything desirable about seedless pears other
than the ability to have a pear harvest even when spring conditions
prevent pollination from occurring.  That often comes in handy here in
the wet Pacific Northwest.

-Mark Lee, Seattle 

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