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Pittosporum undulatum

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Campanulids
Ordo: Apiales

Familia: Pittosporaceae
Genus: Pittosporum
Species: Pittosporum undulatum

Pittosporum undulatum Vent.

Descr. pl. nouv. ad t. 76. 1802
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Pittosporum undulatum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.

Pittosporum undulatum is a fast-growing tree in the family Pittosporaceae. It is sometimes also known as sweet pittosporum, native daphne, Australian cheesewood, Victorian box or mock orange.

P. undulatum has become invasive in parts of Australia where it is not indigenous. It is also highly invasive in South Africa, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Azores and southern Brazil.[1][2]


Pittosporum undulatum grows as a shrub or small tree to 15 m (49 ft) tall.[3] Its evergreen leaves are lance-shaped (lanceolate), with wavy (undulating) margins. It carries conspicuous orange woody fruits about 1 cm in diameter for several months after flowering in spring or early summer.[4]

French botanist Étienne Pierre Ventenat described Pittosporum undulatum in 1802.
Distribution and habitat

Originally Pittosporum undulatum grew in moist areas on the Australian east coast, where its natural range was from south-east Queensland to eastern Victoria,[5] but has increased its range since European settlement.

Likely pollinators of its flowers are moths and butterflies, as the flower produces a fragrant perfume at night. The fruit are eaten by currawongs, red-whiskered bulbuls, Indian mynahs and grey-headed flying fox. Seed is dispersed in bird faeces.[6]
Invasive species
Pittosporum undulatum forests on the Azores

The earliest known record (according to the Australian Virtual Herbarium) is from Port Jackson, Sydney, in 1803.[5] However, P. undulatum's status around the Sydney area is contentious.[7] Even though it is native to the region, P. undulatum has spread to soils and bushland where it wasn't found before European settlement, often out-competing other plants.

Pittosporum undulatum is the most invasive tree species in the Azores, and has spread through most of the mid to low altitude forests, outshading and replacing native trees like Morella faya and Laurus azorica.[8]

Pittosporum has done especially well in areas where the environment has been altered by humans – for example by habitat fragmentation weakening other natives, by fertilizer runoff from homes increasing soil nutrients and by the suppression of bushfires near suburbs. Unlike most natives, P. undulatum takes advantage of high nutrient levels and its seeds can germinate without needing fire. This has led to the species sometimes receiving the "invasive" label although some[who?] think that it is merely returning to areas where it grew before people arrived in Australia and began burning the environment far beyond that which previously occurred.

Recommended control measures have included the identification and selective removal of female trees to prevent spread, as well as careful burning, where possible, together with follow-up weeding.[5]


"Pittosporum undulatum in southern Brazil" (PDF). Instituto Hórus. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 October 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
"Pittosporum undulatum in the Azores, Portugal" (PDF). Universidade dos Açores. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 October 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2009.
New South Wales Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust (2000). "Pittosporum undulatum". PlantNET.
"Pittosporum undulatum". Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk. 5 February 2005. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
Gleadow, Ros; Walker, Jeff (May 2014). "The invasion of Pittosporum undulatum in the Dandenong Ranges, Victoria: realising predictions about rates and impact". Proceedings: Fifth Victorian Weeds Conference. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
Benson, Doug; McDougall, Lyn (1999). "Ecology of Sydney Plant Species Part 7a: Dicotyledon families Nyctaginaceae to Primulaceae" (PDF). Cunninghamia. 6 (2): 402–508 [462]. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 March 2016.
"Pittosporum undulatum – Traitor or Survivor?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 September 2007.
"Pittosporum undulatum Vent". Flora-On. Retrieved 9 December 2021.

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