Pyrus pyrifolia is a pear tree species native to East Asia. The tree's edible fruit is known by many names, including: Asian pear, Chinese pear, Korean pear, Japanese pear, Japanese Apple Pear, Taiwanese pear, and sand pear. Along with cultivars of P. × bretschneideri and P. ussuriensis, the fruit is also called the nashi pear. Cultivars derived from Pyrus pyrifolia are grown throughout East Asia, and in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and the United States (e.g., California). Traditionally in East Asia the tree's flowers are a popular symbol of early spring, and it is a common sight in gardens and the countryside.
The fruits are not generally baked in pies or made into jams because they have a high water content and a crisp, grainy texture, very different from the European varieties. They are commonly served raw and peeled. The fruit tends to be quite large and fragrant, and when carefully wrapped (it has a tendency to bruise because of its juiciness), it can last for several weeks or more in a cold, dry place.
- Culture 1
- Cultivars 2
- Notes 3
- External links 4
Due to their relatively high price and the large size of the fruit of cultivars, the pears tend to be served to guests, given as gifts, or eaten together in a family setting.
In cooking, ground pears are used in vinegar- or soy sauce-based sauces as a sweetener, instead of sugar. They are also used when marinating meat, especially beef.
In Korea, the fruit is known as bae (배), and it is grown and consumed in great quantity. In the South Korean city of Naju, there is a museum called The Naju Pear Museum and Pear Orchard for Tourists (나주 배 박물관 및 배밭 관광체험).
In Australia, these pears have been commercially produced for more than 25 years.
In Japan, fruit is harvested in Chiba, Ibaraki, Tottori, Fukushima, Tochigi, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama and other prefectures, except Okinawa. Nashi (ja:梨) may be used as a late Autumn kigo, or “season word”, when writing haiku. Nashi no hana (ja:梨の花, pear flower) is also used as a kigo of spring. At least one city (Kamagaya-Shi, Chiba Prefecture) has the flowers of this tree as an official city flower.
In Nepal and the Himalayan states of India, they are called nashpati and are cultivated as a cash crop in the Middle Hills between about 1,500 and 2,500 meters’ elevation where the climate is suitable. The fruit are carried to nearby markets by human porters or, increasingly, by truck, but not for long distances because they bruise easily.
In Taiwan, pears harvested in Japan have become luxurious presents since 1997 and their consumption has jumped.
In China, it is considered a social faux pas to share a pear with a friend or loved one. "Sharing a pear" (分梨) is a homophone of "separate" (分离). 
Cultivars are classified in two groups. Most of the cultivars belong to the Akanashi ('Russet pears') group, and have yellowish-brown rinds. The Aonashi ('Green pears') have yellow-green rinds.
Important cultivars include:
- 'Chojuro' (ja:長十郎, Japan, 1893?) ('Russet pears')
- 'Kosui' (ja:幸水, Japan, 1959; the most important cultivar in Japan), ('Russet pears')
- 'Hosui' (ja:豊水, Japan, 1972) ('Russet pears')
- 'Imamuraaki' (ja:今村秋, Japan, native) ('Russet pears')
- 'Nijisseiki' (ja:二十世紀, Japan, 1898; name means "20th century", also spelled 'Nijusseiki') ('Green pears')
- 'Niitaka' (ja:新高, Japan, 1927) ('Russet pears')
- 'Okusankichi' (ja:晩三吉, Japan, native) ('Russet pears')
- 'Raja' (new) ('Russet pears')
- 'Shinko' (ja:新興, Japan, pre-1941) ('Russet pears') ('Russet pears')
- 'Hwangkeum' (ko:황금, zh:黄金, Korea, 1984, 'Niitaka' x 'Nijisseiki')
- . Agfact H4.1.14Nashi asian pear varietiesNSW Primary Industries 2002.
- In Japanese the fruit is called nashi. The best variety is called shingo in Korean.
- Australian Nashi Growers Association - Growers: history/background accessed 6 July 2011
- The Yuki Teikei Haiku Season Word List from the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society (Northern California)
- Home-grown Japanese pear officially launched - Cyprus Mail
- , kosui. Agfact H4.1.14Nashi asian pear varietiesNSW Primary Industries 2002.
- , housui. Agfact H4.1.14Nashi asian pear varietiesNSW Primary Industries 2002.
- , nijiseiki. Agfact H4.1.14Nashi asian pear varietiesNSW Primary Industries 2002.
- , nitaka. Agfact H4.1.14Nashi asian pear varietiesNSW Primary Industries 2002.
- , okusanki. Agfact H4.1.14Nashi asian pear varietiesNSW Primary Industries 2002.
- Site of the Australian Nashi Growers Association
- Guidelines for the conduct of tests for distinctness, uniformity and stability - Japanese pear, The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, 1994-11-04.
- (Japanese) ニホンナシ育成品種の系統図 (Cultivar trees of Japanese pears), National Institute of Fruit Tree Science, Japan
- Shin Hiratsuka, Shao-Ling Zhang "Relationships between fruit set, pollen-tube growth, and S-RNase concentration in the self-incompatible Japanese pear" Scientia Horticulturae, 95 (4), 309-318 (2002).
- Carlos Castillo, Takeshi Takasaki, Toshihiro Saito, Shigemi Norioka, Tetsu Nakanishi " Nakai)Pyrus pylifolla allele) of Japanese Pear (S8 (S8-RNaseClonlng of the " Plant Biotechnology, 19 (1), 1-6 (2002).