There are around 190 different species of Dombeya of which 7 are found in the wild in South Africa.  This is one of them, Dombeya burgessiae, a small tree and a member of the Sterculiaceae family.

Plant of the Month – Dombeya Tree (Dombeya burgessiae)

There are around 190 different species of Dombeya of which 7 are found in the wild in South Africa.  This is one of them, Dombeya burgessiae, a small tree and a member of the Sterculiaceae family.

Dombeya burgessiae, also known as Wild Pink Pear, is found in the wild in Africa from Kwazulu – Natal in the south up to Tanzania across a wide geographic region.  In the wild it grows on the edge of forests, in mountainous or hilly areas and along river valleys. 

The name ‘Dombeya’ comes from the plant collector Joseph Dombey who discovered it and also collected many plants from South America.

It is a small tree rarely growing to more than 4 metres in height with a span of 4 metres. 

In a small garden it is a good specimen tree and works in groups in larger gardens.  It will grow in full sun or partial shade. 

It has large green, lobed leaves which are soft and resemble grape vine leaves. 

It flowers in October – November with its pink or white flowers giving colour to the winter garden. 

Flowers left on the tree will die and turn a light brown in colour as they dry. 

Once dried they can be picked with their stems and used in dried flower displays indoors.
Dombeya trees are fast growing, once planted in the ground they reach maturity in 3 – 4 years. 

 
They withstand dry periods and light frost. 

At the Palm Centre these trees have experienced -6 degrees Centigrade at which point they lose their leaves but these grow back again the following summer. 

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They grow from seed which germinates easily and the young plants grow quickly.

In terms of landscape design this tree can be used as a specimen or several may be grouped together anywhere in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. 

When most trees have lost their leaves for the winter and hardly anything is in flower, dombeya attracts attention with its pink – white flowers. 

As it can grow in shade you could even plant it underneath taller trees.

The Palm Centre, located near the picturesque town of Koygeiz

It is open daily between 1st June – 31st October but you can visit at any other time by appointment. Just ring or email (English is spoken):

Telephone: 0252 262 2892

e-mail palmiyemerkezi@ttnet.net.tr

or, check out their website here.

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