Pittosporum undulatum, Sweet Pittosporum

Image/s
Category
Large shrubs and trees
Scientific Name
Pittosporum undulatum
Common Name/s
Sweet Pittosporum
Weed Information

Threat: High threat environmental weed.

Description: Evergreen small tree or large shrub 4–10 metres with dense foliage.

Flowers: Fragrant creamy-white or pale yellow, fleshy five-petalled, bell shaped. Flowers in clusters at branch tips August to October.

Leaves: Stalked, up to 5cm across and 14cm long. Glossy, dark green above and paler underside. Leaf margins wavy and aromatic when crushed.

Fruit: Cluster of orange globular grape sized berries ripening in autumn to winter. Capsules split open when ripe and contain 20–30 sticky reddish seeds.

Roots: Woody spreading mostly lateral roots. Will sucker if cut.

Note: Sweet Pittosporum is native to East Gippsland but is now a widely spread environmental weed. Seeds readily dispersed by birds and animals (e.g. foxes). Forms dense shade, which excludes most native understorey plants. Frequent host for recruitment of shade tolerant weeds, such as Ivy, Holly and Asparagus fern. It is fire sensitive and the suppression of high intensity fires in some areas has aided its spread and persistence.

Similar indigenous species: Can hybridise with the indigenous Banyalla (Pittosporum bicolor) threatening Banyalla populations in some locations.
The hybrids look more like Sweet Pittosporum than Banyalla. All hybrids should be destroyed.

Control measures: Hand weeding, drill/frill and fill or cut and paint with suitable herbicide, spot burning.

Dispersal: Birds.