In its natural habitat, Dombeya rotundifolia is found growing either in clumps or a single tree. The wild pear is a beautiful specimen tree characterised by white pink scented flowers. This tree flowers together with the coral tree, signalling the beginning of Spring. It is deciduous and fast growing, with a growth rate of about 1 – 1.5m per year and can reach a mature height of 5 to 10 meters when growing conditions are favourable. In the landscapes, this tree usually attains a mature height of 4 to 5m.
Masses of pinkish white, scented flowers which appear on the tree from July to September contrast with the dark trunk and branches, creating a stunning focal point in the garden. When in full flower, the tree resembles the true pear although it is not a related to the pear family. Flowers remain on the tree until the fruit capsules have formed in the centre of each flower. The trees are often single stemmed and have a branched round crown. The bark is dark brown to black, rough and fissured lengthwise. The leaves of this tree are dark green, thick, rough and hairy. In Autumn, they change colour to a lemon yellow before falling.
When grown as a street tree, the wild pear should be planted about 3 meters from buildings and pools. The wild pear makes a lovely bonsai and is cold and fire resistant. This tree attracts butterflies to the garden. The dried flowers are used in floral decorations.