Pittosporum tenuifolium

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Pittosporum tenuifolium
Pittosporum tenuifolium 11.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Pittosporaceae
Genus: Pittosporum
P. tenuifolium
Binomial name
Pittosporum tenuifolium

Pittosporum tenuifolium is a small evergreen tree, up to 10 m (33 ft), native to New Zealand, commonly known as kōhūhū and black matipo, and by other Māori names kohukohu and tawhiwhi. It is sometimes grown under the cultivar name 'Nigricans', so called because of its black stems. In horticulture it is valued for its coloured foliage (cultivated variations include purple, "silver" and variegated leaves), and for its tolerance of some horticulturally difficult growing conditions, including dry soils and shade (although in northwest Europe, cold and exposed situations do not suit it). The flowers generally go unnoticed because of their colour, a very dark reddish-purple, and are scented only at night. It is found growing wild in coastal and lower mountain forest areas up to an altitude of 900m.[1] The Latin tenuifolium means "slender-leaved".[2]

The species, along with several hybrids and cultivars, are available for garden use. The following have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-[3]

  • 'Garnettii'[4]
  • 'Irene Paterson'[5]
  • 'Silver Queen'[6]
  • 'Tom Thumb'[7]
  • 'Warnham Gold'[8]


  1. ^ Miller, Diana M. "Pittosporum tenuifolium hybrids and cultivars". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  2. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
  3. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 79. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Garnettii'". Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Irene Paterson'". Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Queen'". Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Tom Thumb'". Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Warnham Gold'". Retrieved 27 May 2013.

External links[edit]

Medium-sized kohuhu tree in Queenstown New Zealand