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  1. Family: Malvaceae Juss.
    1. Dombeya Cav.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa, W. Indian Ocean, Arabian Peninsula.


    Sterculiaceae, Martin Cheek & Laurence Dorr; Nesogordonia, Laurence Dorr, Lisa Barnett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2007

    Trees or shrubs, deciduous when flowering, more rarely evergreen, pubescent with stellate, simple and glandular hairs
    Leaves petiolate; blade 3–5(–7)-palmately lobed, or entire, base often cordate, margin serrate, dentate, or rarely crenate; stipules narrowly triangular, caducous. Inflorescence axillary, pedunculate, cymose, bracteate, subumbellate or dichasial with 10–40 flowers, pedicellate; or epicalycular bracts whorled, usually equal, caducous, rarely alternate on pedicel
    Sepals 5, valvate, united at base, triangular, often reflexed, nectariferous adaxially at base, outer surface pubescent
    Petals 5, contorted, spreading, white, sometimes red-veined or based, or pink, asymmetrical, dimidiately ovate or elliptic, shortly clawed, glabrous, brown-marcescent
    Androgynophore absent; stamens in a single whorl, filaments united in a short tube (but 1.5–1.6 cm long in D amaniensis) at base, fertile stamens 10–15, in groups of 3 alternating with 5 slightly longer or subequal ligulate-spatulate petaloid staminodes; anthers dehiscing by slits.
    Ovary ovoid to oblate, tomentose or rarely glandular, with 3–5 locules each with 2–8 collateral ascending ovules, placentation axile, style ± as long as stamens, shortly (2–)3–5-branched
    Fruit spherical to ovoid, brown, dry, slightly woody, dehiscing loculicidally by 3–5 valves
    Seeds 1–several per locule, subreniform or angular, brown or black, not fleshy.
    Two hybrids and several species, including the E African D. burgessiae are sometimes cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics as ornamental garden plants, although not in E Africa. Most E African species are used for the fibre of their bark, and their wood is used for bows, tool handles or firewood. This treatment is based on Seyani’s 1982 validly published doctoral thesis revision (“A taxonomic study of Dombeya Cav. ( Sterculiaceae) in Africa with special reference to species delimitation”). This was published in 1991 in modified form (“Dombeya in Africa”) as the second book in the series Opera Botanica Belgica. In Seyani’s works, many species formerly accepted are reduced to synonymy. Further work might show that some of these might be worth maintaining at one infraspecific rank or another.



    Native to:

    Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Caprivi Strip, Central African Repu, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Free State, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rodrigues, Rwanda, Réunion, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico Southwest, Thailand, Trinidad-Tobago

    Accepted Species


    Other Data

    Dombeya Cav. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Brenan, J.P.M. [8192], Tanzania 15381.000


    First published in Diss. 2(App.): 2 (1786)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. (2000). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS D: 1-30141.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Dombeya in Africa (1991)
    • Seyani, Dombeya (1982)
    • Diss. 2, App.:[4](1786) nom. cons.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.