Common Name: Strawberry Snowball Tree
Dombeya cacuminum is an evergreen tree growing up to 16 metres tall. The bole can be up to 30cm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of fibre. It is grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its floral display.
Even though Dombeya cacuminum occurs within protected area, it is only known from three locations and is threatened by habitat loss due to uncontrolled fire and conversion to cropland. The plant is classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2020)[
Africa - northern and central Madagascar
Humid forests; at elevations from 900 - 2,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
Although native to tropical regions, Dombeya cacuminum is reported to be able to tolerate occasional short-lived temperatures falling as low as -2°c[
In cultivation, species in this genus generally grow best in a moist but well-drained, fertile soil and a position in full sun or partial shade[
The crushed leaves have a nauseous aroma[
The bark yields a good cordage fibre, which is also used for weaving cloth[
]. Formerly the bark was beaten with a mallet to obtain barkcloth, later the fibre was extracted by crushing the bark, after which the fibre was combed or scutched, making it suitable for spinning and weaving[
Seed is very small but can be extracted from fully ripened, dry flower heads. Its viability declines within 3 months, so fresh seed has to be used for sowing. Seed is to be sown in properly drained seedbeds. Seedlings emerge in about 3 weeks[
Cuttings of semi-ripe wood, preferably with some bottom heat to encourage rooting[
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