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Tree Medicines of the Garden Route: White Pear

Scientific name: Apodytes dimidiata E.Mey. ex Arn. subsp. dimidiata.
Family: Icacinaceae.
Common names: White Pear, Bird’s Eye (Eng.); Witpeer (Afr.); umdakane (Xhosa); umdagane (Zulu); umdzagame (Swati) sephopha-madi, kgalagangwê (N. Sotho), tshiphopha-madi (Venda).

Apodytes dimidiata occurs across South Africa in coastal evergreen bush, at the margins of medium altitude evergreen forest, in open woodlands and on grassy mountain slopes, often among rocks. As a well-known “forest tree”, the White Pear is mostly found growing as part of a forest biome – such as those between George and Tsitsikamma along our Garden Route.  This beauty is said to comprise between 3 and 9% of the total tree population of the Knysna Forest itself. Generally a small bushy tree growing up to 5m tall, the White Pear can reach heights of 20m when growing in a forest.


a. Bear in mind when harvesting any indigenous tree to do so sustainably. Different trees and different parts of a tree have their own harvesting methods and periods throughout the year. The South African National Biodiversity Institute has informative harvesting tips on their website (SANBI link below).

b. As with any medication, when using plants for their medicinal values it is recommended that you seek professional guidance from a natural health practitioner and undertake appropriate research before use.

For additional information on germination, propagation, ecology, maintenance, etc. of indigenous SA trees, go to:

Click here if you would like to sponsor a White Pear and help grow a mini forest!

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