Botanical name: Dombeya tiliacea Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Synonyms: Dombeya natalensis, Dombeya gracilis
Forest Wild Pear is a hardy, deciduous, small tree or multi-stemmed shrub, 3 to 4 m, with dark, heart-shaped, thinly textured leaves and dark fissured bark. Leaves are broadly ovate, star-shaped velvet-hairy, heart-shaped, sawtoothed, pointed; leaf-stalk about 2-3 cm long. Flowers are borne in a 4-8-flowered, umbellate cyme in leaf-axils; flower-cluster-stalk up to 5 cm long. Flowers are white, large, about 4 cm across; flower-stalk 1-2 cm long; bracts 3 below the calyx, awl-shaped, 8-10 mm long, about 2 mm broad. Sepals are narrowly ovate-lanceshaped, 1-1.5 cm long, about 5-6 mm broad, densely velvet-hairy outside, pointed. Petals are oblique, obovate, 1.5-1.8 cm long, 1.0-1.4 cm broad, blunt. Ovary is spherical, hairy. Capsules are spherical, densely hairy. The dried flowers are attractive either left on the tree or used in dried arrangements or as pot-pourri. Forest Wild Pear is native to South Africa. Flowering: April-July.
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