Pears – Where Are They From

Q: Does North America have an indigenous pear? Or did all of our pears originally come from Europe?

A: Pears are native to a broad swath of Europe and Asia; they did not originate in North America. Despite their country -specific common names, I found other interesting plant origins: English walnut is native to the Balkans, African marigold is from Mexico, Cherokee rose is from China and French mulberry is another name for American beautyberry, which isn’t a mulberry and certainly isn’t French! And I’m sure you already know that the tomatoes in Italian recipes came from South America and that the Confederate rose blooming now is not a rose but a hibiscus.

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