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Pittosporum viridiflorum

   (Family: Pittosporaceae)
Afrikaans: Kasuur English: Cheesewood Sotho: Kgalagangwe Xhosa: Umkhwenkwe Zulu: umVusamvu  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Tree No.: 139
Height: 4 - 30m
Spread: 3 - 6m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (light)
  Frost Tolerant (light)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
pH: neutral
Flowering time EDIT
                x x x x
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Flower type
  Flower scent EDIT
  Sweetly fragant
  Flower info
  The small creamy yellow flowers have a sweet honey fragrance and appear in terminal panicles from September to December
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf margin
  Leaf info EDIT
  The broadly oblanceolate leaves are glossy dark green above and pale green underneath and are crowded at the ends of the branchlets. They exude a resinous aroma when crushed
Fruit type EDIT
Fruit colour
Seed colour
  Seed info EDIT
  Small, yellow-brown seed capsules which split open to release numerous small, shiny, orange-red seeds, which are covered in a sticky, resinous exudate.
Description EDIT
An evergreen tree with an attractive dense, straight or rounded crown and lovely glossy deep green foliage.
Usually grows from 4 - 15m, but may reach 30m in forests.
Bears small creamy yellow flowers have a sweet honey fragrance.
Growing EDIT
Low maintenance, can be planted in full sun or semi shade.

Has a non aggressive root system.

Cheesewood propagates easily from seed. Unparasitised seed has a germination percentage of 80-90%. Sow seeds in trays in a mixture of river sand and compost; cover lightly with fine compost and keep moist. Seeds should germinate in 8-12 weeks and the fast growing seedlings should be bagged up when they have two leaves. Plants may also be propagated by means of softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings. This plant transplants easily.

Pittosporum viridiflorum can withstand some frost and cold and is fairly drought- resistant, but prefers well-drained soils and a reasonable amount of water.
Distribution EDIT
Pittosporum viridiflorum is widely distributed in the eastern half of South Africa, occuring from the Western Cape up into tropical Africa and beyond to Arabia and India.. It grows over a wide range of altitudes and varies in form from one location to another. Pittosporum viridiflorum grows in tall forest and in scrub on the forest margin, kloofs and on stream banks.
History EDIT
Selected as one of the Trees of the Year 2002.

The name is derived from "Pitta" = pitch and "sporum" = seed (referring to the sticky seeds); and viridiflorum = with green flowers.
A popular garden or street tree and can be pruned as a hedge.

Attracts birds to the garden.

The Cheesewood has a number of medicinal properties and the bark as well as the roots have traditionally been used for a variety of ailments. Infusions of the bark are used to treat stomach complaints and fever, easing pain and having a generally calming effect.

The powdered root is believed to have an aphrodisiac effect and is sometimes added to beer.

The wood is pale and soft but is sometimes used for kitchen utensils.
Ecology EDIT
Many birds, including the red-eyed dove and several starlings eat the seeds. Goats and game (Kudu, Nyala, and Bushbuck) browse the leaves.
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