All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Kieffer pear

Kieffer is a well-known American pear variety, introduced by Peter Kieffer of Philadelphia in the second half of the 10th century.

It has an unusual ancestry, being probably a seedling of a Chinese pear (Pyrus prunifolia) crossed with the widely-grown European pear (Pyrus communis) Barlett. Although in most respects it can be considered a European pear, the crisp coarse flesh hints at the Chinese ancestry.

Kieffer inherits the heavy-cropping nature of Bartlett, but ripens much later.

Kieffer quickly established itself as a major commercial variety in the eastern and southern states. Like Bartlett it was ideal for processing and canning. It is perhaps not as successful for eating fresh.

The oriental ancestry might also explain another of its key features - Kieffer has a legendary reputation for resistance to fireblight, a disease that arose in the eastern states in the 18th and 19th centuries and devastated pear orchards.

Kieffer has a very wide climate range and is equally at home in the northern or southern states.

Visitor reviews

  • 15 Jan 2019  David Methven,  PA, United States
    Great pear for home orchards or beginners. Requires almost zero work in my area, but I have had a scare with fireblight in the past where we had to cut off a few limbs. Course flesh with a spicy flavor. I use it most often to make Pear preserves which this variety is great for. It has a tough, thick skin which mostly keeps away the insects unless you leave the fruit on the tree too long. Ripe for harvest around late September or early October in my area.

Tree register

United States


  • Species: Pyrus communis
  • Parentage: Bartlet
  • Originates from: Philadelphia, United States
  • Introduced: 1870s
  • Developed by: Peter Kieffer
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 4423


  • Fruit size: Large


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Harvest period: Late season
  • Use / keeping: 2-3 weeks


  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering period: Early season
  • Flowering group: 2
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Period of origin: 1850 - 1899


  • Fireblight  - Very resistant

Where to buy fresh fruit

No orchards have registered as growing this variety. If you grow this and want to register please go to our Orchard Registration form.


  • The Book of Pears (2015)
    Author: Morgan

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