Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Pittosporum tobira
(pit-o-spor-um to-bi-rah)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

The pittosporum is a broad-leaved evergreen shrub that can grow to a size of 9 feet by 11 feet. It has a broad, spreading size, dense foliage, and a flat-topped shape. The leaves are dark green and glossy, and assembled in a whorled formation. Flowers are 1/2 inch white blossoms in a terminal cluster and the fruits are a cluster of green in the spring and red in the fall.

What is it used for?

Pittosporum makes a good screen shrub and a good border plant. They can also be grown in planters. They can be pruned into interesting shapes as they age.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Pittosporum prefers a slightly acidic soil and equal amounts of sun and shade. They are relatively drought tolerant.

What are its primary problems?

The pittosporum has no noticeable problems. It is only hardy in the deep south and in grown as a houseplant in the north.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.