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Useful Temperate Plants

Pittosporum undulatum

Vent.

Pittosporaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Cheesewood

No Image.

General Information

Pittosporum undulatum is an evergreen tree with a rounded canopy; it can grow up to 13 metres tall[
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 source of materials. It has been recommended fr cultivation as a source of essential oils and is grown as an ornamental, where it is often used as a hedge.
Pittosporum undulatum has been introduced as a windbreak and ornamental plant to many areas outside its native range. The plant presents its seeds attractively packaged and cohering for easy bird dispersal and seed production is enormous on female trees. This, coupled with a vigorous rhizomatous root system that survives all but the most intense wild fires, and a habit of holding the large leaves horizontally (hence blocking light from other seedlings), ensures very rapid colonisation, particularly on disturbed sites. It has often escaped from cultivation and become established, and is considered to be an invasive weed in several areas including California, the Azores and southeastern 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
]. Restricting horticultural plantings to male plants is not a solution as most of these plants also produce occasional fruits and all forms are self-compatible[
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
].

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.
,
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.
].
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

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.
,
265
Title
Flora of the Sydney Region
Publication
 
Author
Carolin. R. & Tindale. M.
Publisher
Reed. Australia.
Year
1993
ISBN
0730104001
Description
Concise flora with little beyond an extensive key, species descriptions, very brief habitat description.
,
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 - southeastern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania.

Habitat

Sheltered situations and rainforests[
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.
,
265
Title
Flora of the Sydney Region
Publication
 
Author
Carolin. R. & Tindale. M.
Publisher
Reed. Australia.
Year
1993
ISBN
0730104001
Description
Concise flora with little beyond an extensive key, species descriptions, very brief habitat description.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height12.00 m
PollinatorsLepidoptera
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Pittosporum undulatum is native to the temperate and subtropical climate of eastern Australia. It is not very cold-hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c[
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
,
260
Title
Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books, London.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-330-37376-5
Description
Excellent photos of over 1,100 species and cultivars with habits and cultivation details plus a few plant uses. Many species are too tender for outdoors in Britain though there are many that can be grown outside.
].
Succeeds in most well-drained soils of reasonably good quality in full sun or light shade[
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]).
,
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.
]. Succeeds in dry soils. Tolerates maritime exposure[
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]).
].
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 have a sweet, powerfully scented perfume at night and are pollinated by night-flying moths[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].
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.
].
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.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

A gum-resin obtained from the trunk is of potential use in medicine[
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.
].
The gum has been applied topically to aid the healing of wounds[
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.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is very amenable to trimming and can be grown to form a windbreak hedge, succeeding even in areas of maritime exposure[
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.
].

Other Uses

A gum-resin is obtained from wounds made to the bark of the tree[
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.
]. It is viscid, easily softens in the heat of the sun, and possesses a powerful odour of a turpentiny character[
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.
].
An essential oil is obtained from the plant[
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.
]. (Part not specified, but either the flowers or the gum-resin)

The white to white-brown wood is hard and very close-grained. Generally of small dimensions, it is of value for turning and probably for engraving, and is highly favoured for use in the manufacture of golf clubs[
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.
,
1684
Title
The Pacific Species of Pittosporum Banks ex Gaertn. (Pittosporaceae)
Publication
Allertonia Vol 1, No 2, pp73-167 May 1977
Author
Haas J.E.
Publisher
 
Year
1977
ISBN
 
Description
 
,
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
].

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. 2023-01-28. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Pittosporum+undulatum>

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