Pittosporum undulatum Vent.

Sweet Pittosporum

Wide-spreading, small evergreen tree to 8 m or more tall with a rounded canopy. Leaves alternate but appearing whorled towards the growing tips, lanceolate, mostly 8-12 cm long, 2-4 cm wide, hairless when mature, sweet-smelling when crushed; margins entire, wavy. Leaf stalks to 2 cm long. Flowers tubular, creamy white, in terminal flat clusters, strongly fragrant; late winter through spring. Fruit orange, ovate capsules about 12 mm wide, becoming woody; numerous bright orange-red seeds cohering in a sticky mass for easy bird and animal dispersal; May-Aug.

The sticky seeds are eaten by birds and by this means spread rapidly through gardens and bushland. This species is becoming an environmental weed in the Victorian Dandenong Ranges and Upper Yarra region but also in Qld and NSW; it is now also a declared weed in the Azores and Florida.

NSW, Vic (E Gippsland).

Easily confused with P. eugenioides but see key for clarification; flowers are tubular, not star-shaped and fruit is woody and orange.

VIC: Essendon (Queens Park); Fitzroy (Gds); Footscray (Park); Melbourne (Domain, alongside Royal Bot. Gds, Domain Rd side; Victoria Pde; WNicholson St); Yarraville (Gds).

Source: Cayzer, L. (2002). Pittosporaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map

Pittosporum undulatum 'Variegatum'

Leaves generally larger than those of the species and with white variegations, chiefly along the leaf margin. Specimen vic: Portland (Bot. Gds); Wandin (mcc Nsy).

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Apiales
family       Pittosporaceae
genus        Pittosporum Soland.