There are too many other plants known as ‘mock orange’ for Pittosporum tobira to still go by that name, which is why it is more commonly known by its Latin name, or simply as ‘tobira’. The pleasantly fragrant flowers do not smell too much like those of orange anyway. The glossy and dark green leaves are like those of some hollies, without the distinctive prickly points. ‘Variegata’ has lighter green foliage variegated with white, but does not bloom as much. Dwarf cultivars, both variegated and unvariegatd, bloom even less. ‘Variegata’ has a tendency to occasionally produce stems of green (unvariegated) foliage that grow more vigorously and can overwhelm the original variegated growth if not pruned out. Common green Pittosporum tobira can grow as a small tree in the partial shade of larger trees, but is more often maintained as dense shrubbery less than ten feet tall. It makes a nice dense hedge in full sun, but unfortunately does not bloom if shorn regularly. All cultivars are resilient to drought once established.


4 thoughts on “Pittosporum tobira

    1. Wow, that is cold! A few species of Pittosporum were damaged during the worst frost in recorded history here in 1990, but Pittosporum tobira was one of the resilient ones.


  1. I love this plant. I have grown it successfully in a container since 2000. It’s in a 10″ container now–one of my larger “house plants “. And yes, it blooms for me when I move it outside in our brief summer.


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    1. Houseplant?! It is resilient to dry summers here because it disperses roots so extensively. It seems like it would not want to stay confined in a pot for too long.


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