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Products > Pittosporum crassifolium
Pittosporum crassifolium - Karo
Image of Pittosporum crassifolium
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Pittosporaceae (Pittosporums)
Origin: New Zealand (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Maroon
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Pittosporum crassifolium (Karo) - An evergreen shrub that holds grey-green round leaves that are covered with greyish hairs. Upright growing to 8 to 12+ (known to reach 25 feet) feet tall by 6 to 10+ feet wide with dark stems holding narrow oblong 2 to 3 inch long gray leaves. The spring-blooming maroon flowers are not outstandingly show but are interesting and fragrant. Will grow in full sun and little water, but looks best in part sun with regular watering. Tolerant to seaside conditions and fairly dry conditions. A great upright hedging plant along the coast. There is also a compact form called Pittosporum crassifolium 'Compacta'. This plant is found naturally growing around forest margins and along streams in coastal localities of the Kermadec Islands and northern areas of the North Island of New Zealand. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'pitta' meaning "pitch" and 'spora' meaning "seed" in reference to the sticky seeds of many members of the genus and the specific epithet is from the Latin words 'crass' meaning "thick" and 'folia' meaning "leaves" in reference to the leaves of this species, which are thicker than most Pittosporum. This species was firs discovered in 1833 by the Kew trained English botanist Richard Cunningham and was first illustrated in Curtis Botanical Magazine in 1872 but was reportedly introduced into California prior to 1871 by Stephen Nolan at his Belle View Nursery in Oakland, California and planted into the Strybing Arboretum in 1899.  This information about Pittosporum crassifolium displayed is based on research conducted in our library and from reliable online resources. We will also note observations that we have made about it as it grows in the gardens in our nursery and those elsewhere, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others, and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.