Apodytes dimidiata is a charming, bushy, evergreen tree with a neat, well rounded crown, dark green leathery leaves and a striking profusion of sweetly scented trusses of white flowers from September to April.
The flowers have an attractive smell to insects which aids in the pollination process. The distinctive black fruit with a scarlet, fleshy appendage appear from December to June. Various birds enjoy the taste of the fruit and will flock to the garden.
This lovely tree grows to a height of between 4 m to 6 m in cultivation but can reach a height of 20 m in a forest. Fairly slow growing when young, the tree needs to be protected from frost for the first year. Apodytes dimidiata is a good choice as a shade tree and can be safely planted near paving or pools as the roots will not disturb foundations. In addition, the fruit is not fleshy and will not be messy on paved areas.
The White pear is one of our most prevalent forest trees occurring in large numbers in coastal forests throughout the country. As the beautiful wood of the White pear was so sought after by the early settlers, huge numbers of these trees were felled and few really fine specimens remain in our forests today. As a result, Apodytes dimidiata is now a protected species in South Africa.