Williams’ Bon Chrétien or Green Williams is one of the most widely grown pears in the world and is often used in canning. It is known for its good eating quality with fine, tender, juicy white flesh. The fruit has a slightly squat classic pear shape (oblong ovate pyriform) and is of small to medium size. The peel colour is a fine, pale, clear white-green with visible lenticels, which turns pale-yellow when ripe. The pear needs to be eaten when soft which is indicated when tenderness of the flesh is obvious through the thin skin. The peel is thin enough to eat, and the flavour has an attractive and distinctive fragrance.
The pear does not keep for long in the fruit bowl, but ripening can be delayed for a few days in the fridge.
Williams is an early to mid-season pear.
Williams is susceptible to Fire Blight and is not particularly cold tolerant.
Good Fruit Guide Rating: ****
Consumers who enjoy a classic, traditional soft pear will appreciate Green Williams for flavour and sweetness.
Sweet, fragrant, soft.
Names: Williams’ Bon Chrétien; Green Williams; Williams; Bartlett; Aldermaston Pear; Stairs Pear
Origin: Despite the name, the variety actually originates in Aldermaston, England, circa 1765, discovered as a wilding by Mr Stair, a school master. It was later acquired in 1770 by a nurseryman, Mr Richard Williams of Turnham Green, who was responsible for its spread across England. The variety was introduced to Massachusetts in 1799, where it was planted on the estate of Thomas Brewer, in Roxbury. In 1817, this estate was acquired by a Mr Enoch Bartlett, who proceeded to introduce trees more widely across the USA.
Grown in: Most production regions of European-type pears will grow Williams pears. Italy and South Africa are the most important sources of the pear for the UK.
Harvest & Availability:
- January: Italy
- February: Italy
- March: Italy, South Africa, Argentina
- April: South Africa, Argentina
- May: South Africa
- August: Spain
- September: Italy
- October: Italy
- November: Italy
- December: Italy