Decaisne, who made the subject one of critical study for a number of years, and not only investigated the wild forms, but carefully studied the peculiarities of the numerous varieties cultivated in the Jardin des Plantes at Paris, refers all cultivated pears to one species, the individuals of which have in course of time diverged in various directions, so as to form now six races: (I) the Celtic, including P. cordata; (2) the Germanic, including P. communis, P. achras, and P. piraster; (3) the Hellenic, including P. parviflora, P. sinaica and others; (4) the Pontic, including P. elaeagrifolia; (5) the Indian, comprising P. Paschae; and (6) the Mongolic, represented by P. sinensis.
With reference to the Celtic race, P. cordata, it is interesting to note its connexion with Arthurian legend and the Isle of Avalon or Isle of Apples.
Dr Phene visited Armorica (Brittany) with a view of investigating these matters, and brought thence fruits of a small berry-like pear, which were identified with the Pyrus cordata of western France.
There are various herbaceous plants which may be similarly treated, such as sea-kale and horseradish, and, among ornamental plants, the beautiful autumn-blooming Anemone japonica, Bocconia cordata, Dictamnus Fraxinella - the burning bush; the sea hollies (Eryngium), the globe thistle (Echinops ritro), the Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale), the sea lavender (Statice latifolia), Senecio pulcher, &c. The sea-kale and horseradish require to be treated in the open garden, where the cut portions should be planted in lines in wellworked soil; but the roots of the others should be planted in pots and kept in a close frame with a little warmth till the young shoots have started.
Cordata has heartshaped lobed leaves, and large panicles of small flesh-coloured flowers.
Cordata), probably wild in woods in England and also wild throughout Europe, except in the extreme south-east, and Russian Asia.
Cordata, from which it differs in its somewhat larger leaves and downy fruit.