Dombeya rotundifolia

Botanical Name: Dombeya rotundifolia (Hochst.) Planch.

Common Name:        Common Wild Pear.

Plant Family:              Sterculiaceae

Origin:                           Africa

References:                 Coates Palgrave p.711, Joffe p.75, Venter p.272. S.A. No. 471, Zimb. No. 687

Description:  A shapely neat, small, deciduous tree usually occurring over wide range of altitudes. Bark is dark brown, and deeply fissured leaves broad and ovate, leathery with a pinking tinge when young. Profusion of white flowers appear before the leaves.

Features of Particular Interest:  One of the earliest spring flowers forming conspicuous patches of white, flowers carry abundant nectar and pollen that lure pollinators. Dry flowers remain on tree for a long time and may be used for flower arrangements.

 Height and Spread:  4 – 5m in height, 2-5m spread.

Periods of Interest:

Leaf:  September to May.

Flowering:  August to October.

Fruiting:  November to December.


Soil and Moisture:

Aspect:  Prefers full sun.

Hardiness:  Frost, fire and drought resistant. .

Maintenance and PruningD. rotundifolia is fast growing under garden conditions between 1 – 1.5 m a year.

Propagation:  Germinates quickly from fresh seed in September. Easier to find seedling in the bush and transplant.

Problems and Drawbacks:  None.

Use and Associated Planting:  D. rotundifolia is an attractive garden tree great for small gardens, drives, avenues, and streets. Can also a specimen tree in the lawn and should be planted near contrasting flowering plants such as the reds of Erythrina abysinnica or E. lysistemon as they flower together.  Makes a good bonsai specimen.

Notes:  A member of the cocoa and cola family.