A Lovely Weeping Pittosporum Tree
We’re excited to be selling the rare weeping Pittosporum angustifolium, a very drought-, heat-, and frost-tolerant small tree that’s widespread in interior Australia. It’s best for inland locations in Central and Northern California, too. Its shiny linear leaves hang on a narrow, upright tree with weeping branchlets and silvery bark. Aussies call it “native apricot” because its small bright fruits resemble apricots (but aren’t edible). The open crown allows a lot of light through and casts animated shadows on the ground below. Thanks to its narrow profile, it fits into small gardens and sidewalks. David Feix, one of the Bay Area’s most thoughtful and adventuresome landscape designers, recommends this plant for areas with a touch more heat than the fog belt of SF/Berkeley/Oakland.
Walking the streets of San Francisco, you may have notice a variety of intermingling jasmine-like fragrances. It’s an under-celebrated quality of the city.
Pittosporum trees are the source for many of these sweet scents. Several species are planted as park and garden trees, but Pittosporum undulatum, “Victorian box,” is the commonest street tree. Clothed in lush green leaves marked by an undulating edge, it produces small, heavily scented, creamy-white blooms at least four times a year in San Francisco. Its native home is moist forests of Australia’s southeast Queensland, eastern New South Wales, and eastern Victoria states.
Lots of pittosporums make good garden plants. Fragrance is just one selling point.