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Products > Pittosporum undulatum
Pittosporum undulatum - Victorian Box

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Pittosporaceae (Pittosporums)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Height: 25-40 feet
Width: 30-40 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Pittosporum undulatum (Victorian Box) - A large shrub or medium to large tree that can reach to 30-50 feet tall with a pyramidal shape, but is most often seen maintained as a much lower screen or hedge plant. It has dark gray bark that develops rough scales with age and attractive dark green leaves have very wavy margins. The fragrant small cream-white flowers bloom in profusion in the early spring and are followed by small green berries that age to orange before splitting open to drop sticky seeds, which can be a nuisance but also attract birds. Plant in sun or part shade and give deep and infrequent watering older plants are quite drought tolerant. Established plants are hardy to at least 18 F. This is an extremely useful plant as a large attractive hedge and windbreak and, since it is fire-resistant, it is good for the edges of defensible space in fire prone areas. Its reseeding in the garden and fallen flowers and sticky resin-coated seeds are on walkways does create some maintenance problems but warblers and mockingbirds are attracted to the fruit and Anna's Hummingbirds to the nectar of the flowers, as are bees - the trees buzz with excitement when in flower! We have some of the largest trees in Santa Barbara in our nursery back parking lot (over 50 feet tall) - if you haven't seen this common hedge plant as a large tree take a look at these big specimens even some visiting Australians have been amazed! This plant, native to subtropical rainforests and an understory plant in Eucalyptus forests in coastal south-east Queensland, New South Wales and eastern Victoria in Australia, is considered by some to be invasive into riparian habitats in California and those that have it in their gardens know it does occasionally reseed in gardens. The California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) and PlantRight have both evaluated Pittosporum undulatum but did has not list it as an invasive weed as areas where it has naturalized are limited, and the impact risk deemed too low, however it is listed as an invasive plant in the state of Hawaii. The name Pittosporum is from Greek words 'pitta' meaning "pitch" and 'sporum' meaning "seed" in reference to the resinous coating on the seeds and the specific epithet is from the Latin word 'unda' meaning a "wave" or "surge" in reference to the characteristic wavy (undulating) margins of the leaves. Other common names for this plant are Australian Cheesewood, Victorian Laurel, Mock Orange (usually used for P. tobira) and Sweet Pittosporum.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Pittosporum undulatum.