If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Temperate Plants

Pittosporum angustifolium

Lodd.

Pittosporaceae


There has been considerable confusion in the past over this taxon. For a long while the name used for it was Pittosporum phillyraeoides (DC.) Benth., but that taxon is now recognized as a closely-related species restricted to Western Australia. Pittosporum angustifolium, as treated here, is a widespread species found in all mainland States of Australia[
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia
].

+ Synonyms

Pittosporum acacioides A.Cunn.

Pittosporum longifolium Putt.

Pittosporum salicinum Lindl.

Pittosporum phillyraeoides auct.

Common Name: Weeping Pittosporum

No Image.

General Information

Pittosporum angustifolium is an evergreen shrub or small tree with a thick, fissured bark that is fibrous below; it can grow up to 15 metres tall[
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
,
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.

Known Hazards

This plant contains saponins[
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
,
154
Title
Flora of Victoria.
Publication
 
Author
Ewart. A. J.
Publisher
University Press; Melbourne
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
].
Although poisonous, saponins also have a range of medicinal applications and many saponin-rich plants are used in herbalism (particularly as emetics, expectorants and febrifuges) or as sources of raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry. Saponins are also found in a number of common foods, such as many beans.
Saponins have a quite bitter flavour and are in general poorly absorbed by the human body, so most pass through without harm. They can be removed by carefully leaching in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of raw foods that contain saponins.
Saponins are much more toxic to many cold-blooded creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish and make them easy to catch[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia

Range

Australia - New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria.

Habitat

Found particularly in open eucalypt woodlands and mallee and moister areas near inland lakes and drainage lines on sandy soils in more arid zones[
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia
]. Dry land away from the coast[
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
]. Often in extremely dry areas[
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height6.00 m
Growth RateSlow
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Pittosporum angustifolium is native to the semi-arid and arid regions of Australia, being found from the warm temperate zone to the tropics. It is not very cold-hardy, tolerating short periods with temperatures down to about -5°c when it is dormant[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Plants succeed outdoors in the southwest of England, though they need greenhouse protection in other parts of the country[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
Requires a well-drained light loamy soil, succeeding in very dry soils and also in somewhat alkaline conditions[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
,
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
]. Requires a sunny position[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Plants tolerate much wetter conditions in cultivation than they experience in their native habitat[
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
1096
Title
Native Tastes of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tasteaustralia.biz/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with detailed information on around 50 species of native Australian food plants, including recipes.
].
A slow growing plant[
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
].
Very amenable to pruning, plants can be cut right back into old wood if required[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The flowers are strongly fragrant[
440
Title
Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network,
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.brisrain.webcentral.com.au
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on plants in the Queensland Rainforests.
].
Although flowers usually appear to be hermaphrodite, many species of Pittosporum are functionally dioecious, with individual specimens bearing mainly or totally flowers of one sex only. Even so, occasional functionally hermaphrodite flowers will appear and, in at least some species, these flowers can be self-compatible and produce fertile seed even in the absence of any other plants of that species[
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia
].
The species in this genus are also very likely to hybridize with other members of the genus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. When growing a species from seed it is important to ensure that the seed either comes from a known wild source, or from isolated specimens in cultivation.
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Seed - dried and ground into a powder[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
,
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Very bitter[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
,
193
Title
Wild Food Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Low. T.
Publisher
Angus and Robertson.
Year
1989
ISBN
0-207-14383-8
Description
Well presented, clear information and good photographs. An interesting read for the casual reader as well as the enthusiast
].

A good edible gum is obtained from this plant[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
,
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
]. It oozes from wounded branches[
193
Title
Wild Food Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Low. T.
Publisher
Angus and Robertson.
Year
1989
ISBN
0-207-14383-8
Description
Well presented, clear information and good photographs. An interesting read for the casual reader as well as the enthusiast
].

Medicinal

The Australian aborigines soaked the seeds and the pulp of the fruit in water and used the bitter infusion internally as a treatment for pains and sprains[
1683
Title
The Australian and New Zealand Species of Pittosporum
Publication
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 43 No. 2, pp 87-188 May 1956
Author
Cooper R.C.
Publisher
 
Year
1956
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, but still an excellent treatment.
].

An infusion of the seeds, fruit pulp, leaves or wood is taken internally for the relief of pain and cramps[
1096
Title
Native Tastes of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tasteaustralia.biz/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A website with detailed information on around 50 species of native Australian food plants, including recipes.
,
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia
].

A decoction of the fruits can be drunk and also applied topically as a treatment for eczema and pruritis[
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia
].
Used for colds and as a lactagogue[
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia
] (this report suggests it is referring to a decoction of the fruits, but is not specific[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]).

The seeds are ground into a powder and used as a poultice[
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia
]

A compress of the warm leaves is reputed to be used to induce milk flow for new mothers[
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia
].

This plant should not be taken internally too frequently, since the haemolytic saponin present may prove injurious[
1685
Title
Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia
Publication
Australian Systematic Botany 13, 845-902, 2000
Author
Cayzer L.W.; Crisp M.D. & Telford I.R.H.
Publisher
 
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive review of the genus in Australia
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant responds well to trimming and can be grown as a hedge and windbreak[
1683
Title
The Australian and New Zealand Species of Pittosporum
Publication
Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden Vol. 43 No. 2, pp 87-188 May 1956
Author
Cooper R.C.
Publisher
 
Year
1956
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, but still an excellent treatment.
].

Other Uses

The plant contains saponins. These have the potential to be used as soap or as a bird repellent. Since they are very bitter they can be sprayed over plants that you do not want the birds to eat. The saponins are easily removed by washing or the next rain shower.

The tree is said to yield a gum that is somewhat similar to gum arable (obtained from Acacia and Senegalia species), and even superior to it[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The light-coloured wood is close grained, very hard. Generally of too small a dimension for commercial use, but it is used for turnery, cabinet making, engraving etc[154. 1685].

Propagation

Seed - sow when ripe in the autumn or in late winter in a warm greenhouse[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The seed usually germinates freely. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, move the plants to a cold frame as soon as they are established and plant out late in the following spring[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. Consider giving them some protection from the cold during their first winter outdoors.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 7cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame. Poor to fair percentage[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
].
Basal ripewood cuttings late autumn in a cold frame[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2020-11-26. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Pittosporum+angustifolium>

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.