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Pittosporum tobira

Pronunciation: Pit-oh-spor-um toh-bir-uh
Family: Pittosporaceae (pittosporum family)
Common Name: Japanese cheesewood, japanese mockorange, japanese pittosporum, tobira
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 15'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
Bloom Description: This beautiful broadleafed evergreen shrub or small tree can reach up to 15 ft (4. 6 m) in height and approximately the same in width. In general the japanese pittosporum grows taller in the shade while those grown in full sun are more compact. The small flowers are about 0. 5 in (1. 3 cm) in diameter and are held in clusters at the branch tips. They are pure white when they emerge from the bud and slowly age to a mellow creamy yellow. They appear in late spring and last for several weeks. Flowers are more noticeable and attractive on the nonvariegated plants.
Plant Perks:
  • Salt Tolerant
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: By cuttings and seeds
Notes for Identification: Japanese pittosporum is a good choice for screens and informal hedges. It can also be closely sheared to create formal hedges and topiary although i think there are better shrubs for this purpose. This is because its relatively large leaves look shabby when portions are sliced off. On the other hand i do like to selectively trim and remove the lower limbs to create small trees that serve as bonsai-like specimens for patio areas and entryways. However you choose to prune them, they look great and will also grow well in containers. The beautiful evergreen foliage and ability to produce its fragrant flowers indoors make this pittosporum a desirable greenhouse plant. Grow the variegated variety in the high shade of pine trees where they will thrive. The gray-green and cream foliage look especially nice in spring when grown as a backdrop to pink azaleas. The japanese pittosporum is also salt and drought tolerant so it is a good choice for seaside plantings.  
Located in: Seed Photos
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