Pittosporum tobira

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Pittosporum tobira
Pittosporum Tobira JPG0.jpg
Leaves and flowers of P. tobira
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Pittosporaceae
Genus: Pittosporum
P. tobira
Binomial name
Pittosporum tobira
Japanese Cheesewood -- Pittosporum tobira
Pittosporum tobira - MHNT

Pittosporum tobira is a species of sweet-smelling flowering plant in the pittosporum family Pittosporaceae known by several common names, including Australian laurel,[1] Japanese pittosporum,[1] mock orange[1] and Japanese cheesewood.[citation needed] It is native to eastern Mediterranean (Greece), as well as in Japan, China, and Korea,[2] but it is used throughout the world as an ornamental plant in landscaping and as cut foliage.

Fruits and seeds in Japan

It is an evergreen shrub which can reach 10 m (33 ft) tall by 3 m (10 ft) broad,[2] and can become treelike. It can also be trimmed into a hedge. The leaves are oval in shape with edges that curl under and measure up to 10 cm (4 in) in length. They are leathery, hairless, and darker and shinier on the upper surfaces. The inflorescence is a cluster of fragrant flowers occurring at the ends of branches. The flower has five white petals each about a centimetre long. The fruit is a hairy, woody capsule about 1 cm wide divided into three valves. Inside are black seeds in a bed of resinous pulp.

The binomial qualifier tobira derives from the Japanese name for the plant.[3]

This shrub is a common, drought-tolerant and fairly hardy landscaping plant. Many cultivars have been developed, including dwarf forms and the popular 'Variegata', which has variegated leaves.[4] It is used for hedges, living privacy screens, and indoor and outdoor planter boxes.[4] The stems, leaves, and dried fruits are used in flower arrangements.[4]

The species[5] and the cultivar 'Variegatum'[6] have both gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[7]

Common pests of this plant include various aphids, mites, and leafhoppers, the cotton cushiony scale (Icerya purchasi), and root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.).[4] It can be attacked by the pit-making pittosporum scale (Planchonia arabidis).[8] It is vulnerable to the fungal plant pathogen Erythricium salmonicolor, which causes galls and the dieback disease known as pink limb blight.[4]


  1. ^ a b c USDA GRIN Taxonomy, retrieved 3 May 2016
  2. ^ a b RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  3. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
  4. ^ a b c d e Stamps, R. H. Tobira Production and Use
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pittosporum tobira". Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pittosporum tobira 'Variegatum'". Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  7. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 79. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  8. ^ UC Davis IPM

External links[edit]