Italian common name:
originally from southern China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
Used in many countries around the world with mild winters, such as the Mediterranean ones.
Evergreen or deciduous:
non-poisonous but not edible fruits
it can reach ten meters in height in its areas of origin, while in Italy it rarely exceeds three or four metres.
3 – 4 m.
arboreal or shrubby
The leaves are persistent, leathery, with a shiny blade, obovate in shape and dark green in colour, alternate, shiny and oblong.
The flowers, with five white petals at the opening, then take on a cream color and finally light yellow, gathered in umbrella-shaped tops 5-8 cm wide.
In Italy the plant flowers in March-May.
The fruits are red and contained in small green capsules that turn brown as they ripen.
The bark of Pitosforo is medium dark, thin and cracks very late. Alternating black and brown surfaces.
In Italy, pittosporum is cultivated only as an ornamental plant.
It requires little and sporadic cultivation care
It tolerates summer heat without problems, and also winter cold, but not below -10 °C
full sun or partial shade.
medium-textured soil tending towards compact. Fears water stagnation. It tolerates calcareous soils poorly.
pH 6,0 – 7,5. It has little tolerance for soils with a highly basic pH, which are often responsible for leaf chlorosis.
Italian climatic area:
Naturalized in most Italian regions, including islands. In marine locations in central Italy, in Southern Italy, in Sardinia, in Sicily and in Liguria.
Need for water:
Irrigate medium-abundantly in spring-summer if it doesn’t rain for a long time; scarce in winter.
Pittosporum reproduces by seed and semi-woody cuttings.
after flowering and you will have to proceed to reduce the foliage by about a third, eliminating the terminal part of the foliage
It is naturally resistant to parasitic attacks. Attacks by cochineal insects and in particular by cotonous scale insects can be very serious if action is not taken promptly.
However, it tolerates calcareous soils with a highly basic pH, which are often responsible for leaf chlorosis
The name Pittosporum derives from the Greek pitta = “pitch” and sporos = “seed”; it therefore means “resinous seeds”, to allude to the fact that the seeds of this genus are covered in a sticky substance similar to resin. The specific name tobira is the transcription of the Japanese term tobira, abbreviation of the expression tobira no ki, which means “door tree”, as it was customary to attach twigs of this plant to the door jambs, as an apotropaic talisman.
They are plants much visited by bees for their nectar and, if present in sufficient quantity, can produce excellent honey.
Resistance to salt and urban pollution.
Two interesting varieties are the “Nanum” perfect for small gardens, which has dimensions of around one meter in height and one and a half meters in width and the variegated which is instead as large as the Pittosporum tobira and certainly more delicate, but can resolve points a a little dark with an original solution and with the wonderful characteristics of the original plant already described.
In the kitchen:
it is not used.
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Image sources: thanks for the cover photo floranelsalento.blogspot.com and for the following photos in order of insertion donnadipiante.it, unarancioalgiorno.blog, actaplantarum.org, reali.infoplant.it, lerosedifirenze.it and vivaifratellineri.it for the closing photo.