A Weird Discovery

I’ve put up pictures of my Callery Pear (also Bradford Pear) before, that blooms so prettily in the spring. From reading up on the species, I was aware it isn’t well-regarded, but the articles I’d seen talk about its brittleness. The Morton Arboretum says the Callery Pear is being considered for the invasive species list.  Well, a week or so ago we had a windstorm, and a lot of little budding twigs from my tree were blown off onto the lawn. Thinking of perfumy relatives of the pear, apple and cherry blossoms, I decided to bring a sprig indoors to open its flowers in a glass of water. 

I went upstairs, where the sprig was unfolding, and noticed a rotting smell, but at first I thought it was due to hawks or owls taking apart their prey on the roof. I came up a while later and the smell was ten times worse. That’s when I realized the Callery Pear is one of those plants that wants to be pollinated by flies. Of all I’ve read about this species, I’ve never seen that mentioned. I do think we’re having an unusually ripe year for the Stink Pear, because it truly is corpse-scenting my whole backyard, a thing I’ve never noticed before. And it does, you will note when you pay attention, attract flies.

It makes me think of a sitcom gag, a disastrous dinner party, or wedding reception scenario, the naïve hostess bringing out vases of pear blossoms to decorate the room…

Meanwhile, I think if these trees weren’t problematic in other ways, rebranding them as the Corpse Pear would probably appeal to the younger generation of gardeners.

 

Here is the strange frond of a Christmas fern. Very delicate and pretty (and scent-free), with the translucent stuff it’s wrapped in.