Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula'
Common Name: willowleaf pear 
Type: Tree
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 15.00 to 25.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Other: Winter Interest


Grow in average, moderately fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions including heavy clay. Established trees tolerate some drought. Prefers cool summer climates, and generally will not perform well south of USDA Zone 7.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pyrus salicifolia is a small, spreading, deciduous pear with willow-like, narrow, silver-gray leaves, hence the common name of willowleaf pear. It typically grows to 15-25' tall with an oval-rounded habit punctuated by attractive drooping branches. Twigs are often thorny. This tree is native to woodlands, rocky plains, and hillsides in southeastern Europe and the Middle East. Lance-shaped to elliptic leaves (each to 3 1/2" long and to 3/4" wide) emerge silver gray in spring, but gradually turn silvery-green as the growing season progresses. Cream to greenish-white 5-petaled flowers (each to 3/4" diameter) bloom in corymbs (6-8 flowers per corymb) in spring. Flowers are followed by pear-shaped fruits (each to 1 1/4" long) which initially appear green but ripen to brown. Fruit is often sparsely produced. Fruit is of little ornamental significance and is basically inedible.

Genus name is the Latin name for pear.

Specific epithet comes from Salix (willow genus) and folia meaning leaf.

‘Pendula’ is a weeping form of willow-leaved pear. Although it first entered cultivation in Germany in the 1850s, it has only recently become popular in commerce. It is a small, oval-rounded, ornamental pear tree that typically reaches 15’ tall (less frequently to 25’) with pendulous or weeping branching. Weeping form provides excellent winter interest.


Susceptible to fireblight which can be a major problem, particularly in southern areas with warm and humid summers. Additional potential disease problems include anthracnose, canker, scab and powdery mildew. Potential insect pests include aphids, blister mites, caterpillars and scale.


Group or specimen. Early spring flowers, silvery foliage and attractive form lend year-round interest.