An erect shrub up to 4 metres tall by 2 metres wide, often seen about 1.5 x 1 m.
It has a mainly coastal distribution in NSW, extending just into the central tablelands and central western slopes. It extends up the coast as far as Cooktown in Queensland and into the north-east corner of Victoria, with one final disjunct patch between Bairnsdale and Orbost.
It is found is a range of habitats, including dry and wet sclerophyll forest and rainforest margins, as well as rainforest and coastal shrublands, on a range of soils from sandy to loam as well as clay and volcanic.
Young branches rusty or greyish hairy.
Pittosporum spp. have simple and alternate leaves. In this species, leaves are alternate or in pseudo-whorls (at the ends of the branches), to 15 cm long and to 6 cm wide, obovate to broadly lanceolate or broadly elliptic, dull to bright green in colour and sometimes with a slightly leathery texture.
Pittosporum spp. have 5-petaled flowers, often arranged in a variety of structures; either racemes, panicles or clusters, either terminal of axillary. In this species, flowers are cream to yellow and fragrant, to 20 mm long and about 15 mm wide, arranged in umbel-like clusters of few to many flowers, at the stem terminals.
Pittosporum spp. have capsules although they can be fleshy and appear more like berries. In this species, the capsule is ovoid to narrow-elliptic, to 40 mm long with the outer case yellow to orange, sometimes becoming dark brown, hard and usually warty. The seeds are orange to red or red-brown, sticking together in a mass as they are coated with a sticky resinous substance; very showy if produced in large numbers.
This plant can be grown in a garden situation. It is a very attractive plant in flower as well as in fruit.
It is useful as a fast-growing hedge or screen plant and can be grown in a sunny to dappled light situation, in most soils.
It has limited frost tolerance.
It attracts birds, butterflies and insects. Plants are available commercially.
Prune after fruiting to encourage a nice-rounded shrub. Plants seen in the bush often have a compact rounded habit and so they should lend nicely to pruning.
They are reported to be weedy in some areas, so plant with caution. A very nice plant for foliage contrast and to attract more fauna into the garden.
Propagation can be carried out from seed which germinates readily without treatment. Cuttings are also successful.
This species was reportedly used by First Nations People of Australia for food.
It is reported that this species can become a weed in some areas – so exercise caution.
Pittosporum is a large genus of about 150 species, extending to Africa, southern Asia, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand. There are about 14 Australian species, occurring in all states. NSW currently has 14 species.
This species grows in fire-prone environments and can regenerate from the seed bank and can also sucker from the roots.
Pittosporum – from Ancient Greek – although not overly clear, there is information that the words pitta (πίττα) and pissa (πίσσα) were used to refer to “pitch” (tar / bitumen), and –sporum (sporos, σπόρος) means “seed”, referring to the sticky resinous nature of the seeds. The words pitta and pissa may also be connected to “pizza” and “pita”, early words used to refer to unleavened bread.
revolutum – from Latin revolutus = “to roll back” (referring to the curled-back margins of its petals).
This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.
Gardening with Angus – Pittosporum revolutum profile page
Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.
Plants of South Eastern New South Wales – Pittosporum revolutum profile page