Natural populations

Pittosporum angustifolium was formerly referred to as Pittosporum phylliraeoides, a species now recognised as being restricted to coastal sites in the Dampier Archipelago to Kalbarri region [1]. Pittosporum angustifolium is mainly an inland tree and is widespread across much of Australia. It extends from southern Western Australia, across much of South Australia, southern Northern Territory, northeastern Victoria, and over most of western and central New South Wales and Queensland [2]. While widespread, isolated trees often typify occurrences. Pittosporum angustifolium has pendulous foliage and usually attains about 6 m in height but is reported to grow up to 10 m tall. It grows across a wide range of habitats, often on sandy soils.

Flowering and seeds

This species flowers during winter to sping; fruit ripen during March and are maintained on the plant for several months. There are about 20 viable seeds per gram; seeds start to germinate in about 17 days if grown at 25°C and no pretreatment is required [3].

Cultivation and uses

This is a slow growing tree which can be grown on wide range of well-drained soils. It is drought and frost tolerant and its foliage is reported to be eaten by stock in some areas.

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 150-750 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 16-29 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 27-36 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 2-8 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 30-750 metres
Tolerance of extremes in climate
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant or known to be tolerant of protracted droughts
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5), neutral (6.5-7.5) or alkaline (greater than 7.5)
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm) or moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: well-drained
Salinity: slightly to moderately saline or non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity or alkalinity
Extremes in texture: clayey or sand
Salinity: moderate (-8 dS m-1), nil - sensitive to saline soils or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen tree 5-10 m tall
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Growth rate: slow
Root system: moderate to deep, shallow and spreading or forms root suckers
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites or excellent for sandy sites
Shade tolerance: grows best in full sunlight
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: low
Potential farm use: good ornamental attributes, shelterbelt or shade for stock
Traditional Aboriginal uses: medicinal
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant or suitable as a screen or hedge
Wood products: craftwood (for turnery etc.)
Potentially undesirable attributes
Growth habit: mod. to strong propensity to root sucker or shallow roots may outcompete adjacent plants
Foliage: cases of stock poisoning have been reported
Weediness: high potential based on its biology


[1] Cayzer LW, Crisp MD, Telford IRH (2000) Revision of Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae) in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 13: 845–902.

[2] Cunningham GM, Mulham WE, Milthorpe PL, Leigh JH (1992) Plants of Western New South Wales, Inkata Press. Referred to as Pittosporum phylliraeoides.

[3] Gunn BV (2001) Australian Tree Seed Centre Operations Manual. Internal Publication, CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre, ACT. [Online at  Accessed March 2008]

Internet links

Alice Spings Town Council:

eFloraSA Electronic Flora of South Australia:

FloraBase Western Australian Herbarium:

PlantNET National Herbarium of New South Wales: