Shrub or small tree to about 4-5m tall, bark rough and grey. Leaves broadly ovate mostly 4-9 cm long, 3-7 cm wide, pointed at the tip, sometimes 3-lobed. Main veins 7. Margin finely scalloped. Stalks almost as long as the blades. Flowers on long, hairy stalks in the upper leaf axils, white or occasionally pink, becoming rust-coloured and persistent, aromatic; May-Sept. Fruit a hairy capsule. [D. natalensis Sond.]
S Africa (E Cape &Natal)
Occurs naturally in a wide range of conditions from coastal evergreen forest to mixed hillside scrub.
Dombeya tiliacea is the most common species of Dombeya in cultivation in SE Australia.
D. dregeana Sond. is said to differ botanically in having broader bracts. D. tiliacea f. dregeana, is sometimes a name used in horticulture for a form with pinkish flowers. However, as the horticulturally interesting colour difference is recognised in the description of the species and this latter name is generally placed in synonymy.
D. kirkii and D. burgessiae are occasionally encountered (see differences in key); the latter may have pink flowers.
D. rotundifolia (Hochst.) Planchon with ovate to almost circular leaves is also occasionally offered.
Source: (1997). Sterculiaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.