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Products > Hymenosporum flavum
Hymenosporum flavum - Sweet Shade

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Pittosporaceae (Pittosporums)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Height: 25-40 feet
Width: 15-20 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Hymenosporum flavum (Sweet Shade) - A slender evergreen tree that grows to 40 feet tall and half as wide. Shiny leaves form clusters at the ends of the branches. The fragrant flowers bloom in the early summer and emerge a pale yellow to almost cream and darken to deep yellow with age. Plant in full sun to light shade with deep, infrequent watering. Hardy to around 20 F (established trees did not suffer from the short duration sub 20 temperatures experienced in the Goleta Valley in December 1990). This tree has been called the Queensland Frangipani because the scent of the flowers resembles the scent of Frangipani blossoms (Plumeria). It is often used in street plantings or other areas where a narrow upright tree is needed though we note that this tree is a little variable in growth habit, especially if the terminal growth is pruned or damaged. It is native to Queensland and New South Wales in Australia where it is found in rainforest and tall open forest habitats. It is also found in New Guinea. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'hymen', meaning a membrane and 'spora' meaning seed in reference to the winged seeds. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'flavus', meaning yellow in referring to the typical flower color. This tree was first introduced into cultivation in California by Dr. Franceschi in 1900 and there are many large specimens in the Santa Barbara area. A large specimen called the Hayward Hymenosporum in downtown Santa Barbara near the corner of Castillo Street and Dibblee Ave was planted in 1904 and is now listed as the largest Sweetshade on the California Big Tree Registry. We have been growing this beautiful tree on and off since our nursery was established in 1979 and we have one planted in our front parking lot.  This description is based on research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We also try to incorporate comments received from others and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Hymenosporum flavum.