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Mock Orange Pittosporum tobira

Other plants called Mock Orange:

Phonetic Spelling
pih-TOSS-pur-um toe-BYE-ruh
Description

An attractive evergreen shrub that is dense, compact, broad-spreading, and up to 13' tall in the Pittosporaceae family.  It is a tough durable shrub that can withstand severe pruning, is drought, heat and salt spray tolerant. It has showy fragrant blooms that smell like orange blossoms and appear in late spring (April-May).  It makes an excellent specimen plant. its evergreen dense, sympodial growth makes a good screen, hedge, or barrier. This plant also does good in mass planting or planting in containers. 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.

This plant is extensively utilized in Florida, but is a perfect plant for zone 8 and for sandy, coastal locations because of its tolerances. Will do well in full sun to heavy shade, it's heat and drought tolerant. This plant also does well in acidic to alkaline soils, but prefers well-drained soils. It is salt, clay, and sandy soil tolerant. It grows well in hardy zones 8-10, has a fast growth rate, and is easily transplanted. Fruit is in the fall, its non-edible fruit capsules ripen but are often hidden by the foliage and are non-ornamental. Once open at maturity showy red seeds are revealed. Leaf margins will curl inward if stressed. White, orange-scented blossoms turn yellowish upon pollination. 

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. Its cultivar, 'Variegata', has grey-green leaves edged with white.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Evergreen, obovate leaves with entire margins
  • Dense, compact medium to large shrub with sympodial growth
  • Fragrant, 5-petaled flowers in terminal umbels
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • '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#playground#hedges#salt spray#cpp#deer damage#children's garden#picturesque#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • '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#playground#hedges#salt spray#cpp#deer damage#children's garden#picturesque#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pittosporum
    Species:
    tobira
    Family:
    Pittosporaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Japan
    Play Value:
    Fragrance
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 13 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
    Erect
    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:
    Clay
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 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 capsule that is green in color and matures to brown.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are creamy white and become dull yellowish with age. They are fragrant (orange-scented), 5-petaled, are 2-3" in size, and form in clusters on a terminal umbel that is 2-3" in size. Flowers bloom in late spring.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Obtuse
    Spatulate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, simple, coriaceous, crowded to twig apex, obovate to spatulate, obtuse, cuneate, margins entire and somewhat inrolled, glabrous, dark green, leathery, 1.5-4" long, and reticulate below.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems have sympodial growth.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Houseplants
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Recreational Play Area
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Flowering Tree
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Salt