The hwangsil pear (meaning “royal palace pear”), also known as Meokgol pear, that grows today in Namyangju, Gyeonggido (just east of Seoul) in South Korea is a native pear that was presented to the king at the end of the Joseon Dynasty. It was planted in front of the royal tomb of Quen Jungsun. In the mid-1400s, the tree was planted throughout the Meokgol area (in modern day Seoul), and spread widely throughout the Japanese Colonial period. The hwangsil pear has been known for centuries in Korea, and was also mentioned in the story Chunhyang-jun, Korea’s version of Romeo and Juliet written in the 1800s. This native golden pear is harvested in the autumn months, has a very sweet flavor and is resistant to disease. In the 1920s, though, other pear varieties began to be planted in the area, replacing the native species. Recently, an introduced improved pear variety called the Shingo pear has started to be called by the name of Meokgol pear, instead of the native pear from the area. The native pear can now be found just in Namyangju and is differentiated by being called the hwangsil pear. Its production is very limited and it cannot be found for sale commercially.