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Horticulture and Home Pest News
Horticulture & Home Pest News is filled with articles on current horticulture, plant care, pest management, and common household pests written by Iowa State University Extension specialists in the Departments of Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology.

Suggested Pear and Stone Fruit Varieties for Home Gardens in Iowa

This article was published originally on 4/29/1992
Pears and several stone fruits can be successfully grown in Iowa. Pears can be grown satisfactorily in most areas of the state. However, fireblight can be a serious problem. Gardeners should plant fireblight resistant pear varieties.

The stone fruits include cherries, plums, apricots, and peaches. Most stone fruits are relatively short-lived. Some stone fruits, such as apricots, bloom early in the spring and are often damaged by a last frost or freeze. Others, such as sweet cherries and peaches, are not reliably hardy in Iowa.

Suggested pear and stone fruit varieties for home gardens in Iowa are presented below.

VarietyAdaptability to Iowa*MaturityRemarks
Sour Cherries
(Sour cherries are self-fruitful. A single tree will produce a full crop.)
MontmorencyC,SMid-June to early JulyRed skin, yellow flesh; the most widely grown sour cherry in the U.S.
NorthstarN,C,SMid-June to early JulyRed skin, red flesh, natural dwarf tree which grows to a height of about 8 to 10 feet, very hardy; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
MeteorN,C,SLate June to early JulyRed skin, yellow flesh, ripens about 7 to 10 days after Northstar, medium size tree, very hardy; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
Sweet Cherries
Not recommended, not reliably hardy in Iowa. Gardeners in southern Iowa may wish to try the varieties Gold, Van or Hedelfingen on a trial basis. (Sweet cherries are self-unfruitful.)
Hybrid Plums
(The hybrid plum varieties are self-unfruitful. Plant at least two different varieties to insure cross-pollination.)
UnderwoodN,C,SMid JulyLarge fruit, dull red skin, golden yellow flesh, clingstone, hardy; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
TokaN,C,SEarly to mid AugustRed skin, yellow flesh; an excellent pollinizer for other varieties.
AldermanN,C,SMid AugustLarge fruit, burgundy red skin, yellow flesh, clingstone; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
SuperiorN,C,SMid to late AugustLarge fruit, red russet-dotted skin, yellow flesh, clingstone; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
MonitorN,C,SLate AugustMedium to large fruit, bronze-red skin, yellow flesh, clingstone, very hardy; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
European Plums
(The European plum varieties are self-fruitful.)
Mount RoyalN,C,SMid to late AugustSmall to medium fruit, blue-black skin, freestone, very hardy.
StanleyN,C,SLate AugustLarge, dark blue fruit, yellow flesh, freestone, bears heavily.
Green GageC,SLate August to early SeptemberSmall to medium fruit, yellowish, green skin, amber flesh, clingstone.
DamsonC,SEarly to mid SeptemberSmall to medium fruit, blue skin, yellow flesh.
Pears (Most pears are self-unfruitful.)
Harrow DelightC,SEarly to mid AugustMedium size fruit, yellowish green skin; has good resistance to fireblight; developed in Ontario, Canada.
SummercrispN,C,SEarly to mid AugustMedium size fruit, green skin with red blush, hardy; good resistance to fireblight; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
BartlettC,SLate AugustMedium to large fruit, thin yellow skin, white flesh, good for eating fresh and canning; susceptible to fireblight.
MaxineN,C,SLate AugustLarge fruit, yellow skin, firm juicy white flesh, good fresh and canned; resistant to fireblight.
SeckelN,C,SEarly to mid SeptemberSmall fruit, yellowish brown skin, excellent for cooking and canning; some resistance to fireblight; also known as Sugar Pear.
LusciousN,C,SEarly to mid SeptemberMedium size fruit, yellow skin with red blush; developed at South Dakota State University.
KiefferN,C,SEarly OctoberMedium to large fruit, coarse gritty textured white flesh, poor for fresh use, best suited for processing, hardy.
Asian Pears
Asian pears are relatively new to the United States. Asian pears differ from the common or European pears in that they can be eaten while still firm like an apple, or allowed to fully ripen like European pears. Generally Asian pears are not as winter hardy as European pears and exhibit little resistance to fireblight. Until more is known about variety adaptability, any planting of Asian pears should be on trial basis. Gardeners in southern Iowa may wish to try Chojuro and Twentieth Century.
Apricots
MoongoldN,C,SMid to late JulyOrange skin, yellowish-orange flesh, freestone; self-unfruitful, pollinate with Sungold; hardy; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
SungoldN,C,SLate July to early AugustGold skin with orange blush, orange flesh, freestone; self-unfruitful, pollinate with Moongold; hardy; introduced by the University of Minnesota.
MoorparkC,SAugustLarge fruit, yellow skin with orange-red blush, orange flesh, freestone; self-fruitful.
Peaches
Not recommended, not reliably hardy in Iowa.
*Best adapted to northern (N), central (C), or southern (S) Iowa.



This article originally appeared in the April 29, 1992 issue, pp. , 1992 issue, pp. 63-65.

Year of Publication: 
1992
Issue: 
IC-463(9) -- April 29, 1992