Seckel is an attractive, productive variety of a small, sweet, late-season pear. There are many good reasons to grow Seckel – it extends the pear season well into September, it has great disease resistance, and the fruits keep well in storage. And while a large pear is an impressive sight, a smaller pear like Seckel can be a more manageable size for a snack.
Somehow it became popular to use Seckel pears for pickling (in a water-vinegar-sugar brine infused with various spices), perhaps because their diminutive size allows them to fit into canning jars as whole fruit, but also because they naturally have a slightly aromatic & spiced flavour. I've never tried pickled pears, but there are endless recipes online.
Disease resistance: Resistant to fire blight; susceptible to pear scab.
Parentage: Sometimes referred to as an American variety of pear, because it was discovered as a chance seedling in Pennsylvania. This is a slight misnomer because no pears are native to the continent – it's still part of the European pear species. Recent genetic research points to Rousselet de Reims and White Doyenne as Seckel's parents.
Rootstock: OHxF 87.
Seckel included in Reconstruction of the Largest Pedigree Network for Pear Cultivars.
Image 1: Conservation Garden Park.
Image 2: Trees.com.
Image 3: Food Heaven.