This plant of persistent and broad leaves belongs to a large genus of about 350 species from Africa and Madagascar. The Dombeya name is dedicated to the French physician Joseph Dombey, member of a prominent Spanish-French expedition led by the illustrated king Charles III with scientific goals and procedures, which were general features of European voyages of exploration of the eighteenth century.
Dombey accompanied the Spanish Hipólito Ruiz and José Pavón since 1779 in this expedition to the current Peru and Chile. They gathered many species, including Araucaria or tree datura, two species cultivated today in Spain. Shortly after returning from the expedition, in 1788, Ruiz released his Quinología, a study of the properties of the plant producing quinine. Later he wrote with Pavón a systematic work on the flora of those territories that belonged to the Viceroyalty of Peru. Dombey meanwhile went to another expedition, he was captured by pirates and imprisoned in a dungeon, and he finally died worn out by so many hardships.