Olinia ventosa, the hard-pear, is an evergreen shrub in the open or a medium sized forest tree growing a spreading, rounded crown and reaching heights from 5 m to 25 m (SA Tree List No. 513).
Tiny, fragrant, white flowers, sometimes tinged pink, grow in dense clusters from leaf axils. They appear from late autumn to midspring. Red or orange berry-like fruits, about spherical in shape and sometimes over 1 cm in diameter become wrinkled with a circular scar at the tip. They are seen from midsummer to midwinter and are eaten by birds.
The species distribution is coastal, one part in the Western Cape from Hottentots Holland to Bredasdorp, the other further east from the southern Cape to southern KwaZulu-Natal.
The habitat is dry to moist evergreen forest, kloofs and forest margins at low altitudes. It is also found in coastal scrub on rocky slopes. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Pooley, 1993; www.plantzafrica.com; http://redlist.sanbi.org).