'PARAGON' AND 'BESTEVER', TWO 'COMICE' HYBRID PEAR CULTIVARS DEVELOPED IN SOUTHERN OREGON
A pear breeding program was conducted at Oregon State Universitys Southern Oregon Experiment Station, now part of the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, from 1911 to the 1980s. A number of crosses were made with Comice as a parent, often with Max Red Bartlett as the other parent. Two named cultivars, Rogue Red (Comice × (Seckel × Farmingdale)) and Cascade (Comice × Max Red Bartlett), both with red peel color, were released in 1969 and 1986, respectively. Two other products of that program, initially designated 633E and 2-301, did not have red color but were selected for their superior eating quality. Local southern Oregon growers are producing these two cultivars in small quantities. Cultivar 633E has been named Paragon and is a cross of Comice × Max Red Bartlett. The skin is green and very palatable. The fruit consistently ranks extremely high in pear tastings conducted at the Research Center. Paragon is Bartlett-shaped, blooms with Bosc, turns yellow with ripening, and matures between Bartlett and Comice. The storage life is approximately four months. Cultivar 2-301 (Comice × Louis Pasteur) is currently marketed under the name BestEver. The shape is round-pyriform and the peel is mottled-russet and does not change color with ripening. Maturity is after Comice and storage life in normal atmosphere is 6-8 months. Paragon and BestEver pears represent the final releases of the pear breeding program conducted by Oregon State University in southern Oregon.
Hilton, R.J. and Sugar, D. (2015). 'PARAGON' AND 'BESTEVER', TWO 'COMICE' HYBRID PEAR CULTIVARS DEVELOPED IN SOUTHERN OREGON . Acta Hortic. 1094, 149-151
Pyrus communis, pear breeding