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Pittosporum tobira

Description

An attractive evergreen shrub in the Pittosporaceae family.  It is a tough durable shrub that can withstand severe pruning, is drought, heat and salt spray tolerant.  'Variegata' is a slightly smaller shrub with creamy white leaf edges.  It has showy fragrant blooms that smell like orange blossoms and appear in late spring (April-May).   It makes an excellent specimen plant.  Where it is not wintering hardy it grows well as a container plant that can be moved indoors when temperatures cool down. It can also be grown as a houseplant in well-lit areas of the home.

A perfect plant for sandy, coastal locations.  Will do well in full sun or shade, it's heat and drought tolerant.  In the fall, its non-edible fruit capsules ripen but are often hidden by the foliage.  Once open at maturity showy red seeds are revealed.  

No serious insect or disease problems though aphids, scale, mealybugs, root-knot nematodes, and whiteflies may occur. Leaf spot, bacterial blight, and crown/root rot can also cause problems.  This plant is frequently damaged by deer. Avoid wet or poorly-drained soils where root rot is more likely to develop.

Cultivars:
  • 'Cream de Mint'
  • 'Mojo'
    White-cream verigated leaves, compact habit, more cold hardy.
  • 'Variegata'
    Cream-edged, vigorous to 6'.
  • 'Wheeler's Dwarf'
    Compact form, wider, dense mound.
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#houseplant#drought tolerant#specimen#container plant#salt tolerant#winter interest#hedge#salt spray#cpp#deer damage#picturesque
Cultivars:
  • 'Cream de Mint'
  • 'Mojo'
    White-cream verigated leaves, compact habit, more cold hardy.
  • 'Variegata'
    Cream-edged, vigorous to 6'.
  • 'Wheeler's Dwarf'
    Compact form, wider, dense mound.
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#heat tolerant#houseplant#drought tolerant#specimen#container plant#salt tolerant#winter interest#hedge#salt spray#cpp#deer damage#picturesque
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pittosporum
    Species:
    tobira
    Family:
    Pittosporaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Japan
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Pear-shaped, three-valved. Green matures to brown.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    2 to 3 in. clusters of fragrant creamy-white flowers in late spring
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Lustrous leathery, dark green leaves, 1.5" to 4"
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Houseplants
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Flowering Tree
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Salt