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Pittosporum tenuifolium - Gaertn.

Common Name Tawhiwhi
Family Pittosporaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards This plant contains saponins[152, 154]. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans, and although they are fairly toxic to people they are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down if the food is thoroughly cooked for a long time. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats Coastal to lower montane forests, North and South Islands, especially from North Cape and southwards[44].
Range New Zealand.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Pittosporum tenuifolium Tawhiwhi


Pittosporum tenuifolium Tawhiwhi
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Pittosporum tenuifolium is an evergreen Tree growing to 7 m (23ft) by 4 m (13ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower in May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

P. mayi. Hort. P. nigricans.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Gum

Gum - fragrant. It is obtained by bruising the bark or by incision[128, 173].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

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Other Uses

Gum  Hedge  Hedge

Very tolerant of trimming, plants can be grown as a formal or informal hedge in exposed maritime areas, though they do not stand extreme exposure[11, 75, 200]. When grown as a formal hedge it is best trimmed in spring, though this will mean that the plant will not produce many flowers[245]. A compromise is to only trim the hedge every other year[245].

Special Uses

Hedge  Hedge  Scented Plants

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most well-drained soils of reasonably good quality in full sun or light shade[1, 200]. Succeeds in dry soils. Fairly tolerant of maritime exposure[75, 182], but it can be killed by cold winds[184]. Hardy to about -10°c[184], it is tender outside the milder areas of Britain, but often self-sows when happy. Plants have reached a height of 9 metres in a sheltered position in eastern England[11]. A very ornamental plant[1], there are many named varieties[200]. Very amenable to pruning, plants can be cut right back into old wood if required[200]. The species in this genus are very likely to hybridize with other members of the genus[200]. When growing a species from seed it is important to ensure that the seed either comes from a known wild source, or from isolated specimens in cultivation. Plants are widely cultivated for their foliage which lasts a long time in water and is used in flower arranging[11, 75]. The flowers are honey-scented[188]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow when ripe in the autumn or in late winter in a warm greenhouse[78, 200]. The seed usually germinates freely. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, move the plants to a cold frame as soon as they are established and plant out late in the following spring[78]. Consider giving them some protection from the cold during their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Poor to fair percentage[78]. Basal ripewood cuttings late autumn in a cold frame[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Pittosporum balansae Shrub3.0 -  LMHSNDM10 
Pittosporum bicolor Shrub5.0 8-11  LMHSNDM00 
Pittosporum crassifoliumKaro, Stiffleaf cheesewoodShrub5.0 8-11  LMSNDM00 
Pittosporum eugenioidesTarataTree10.0 8-11  LMSNDM11 
Pittosporum phillyreoidesWeeping Pittosporum, Narrow-leaf PittosporumShrub4.5 9-11 SLMNDM21 
Pittosporum ralphiiRalph's desertwillowShrub4.0 8-11  LMNDM00 
Pittosporum resiniferumPetroleum nutTree25.0 10-12 MLMHNM034
Pittosporum tobiraTobira, Japanese cheesewood, Australian Laurel, Mock Orange, Japanese PittosporumShrub6.0 8-11 FLMSNDM00 
Pittosporum undulatumCheesewood, Australian cheesewood, Cheesewood, Pittosporum, Orange Berry Pittosporum, Victorian BoxTree12.0 9-11 FLMSNDM000

 

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Author

Gaertn.

Botanical References

1144200

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