Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pittosporum angustifolium

The conspicuous split fruit and red seeds of Pittosporum angustifolium

Previous name - Pittosporum angustifolium was formerly referred to Pittosporum phylliraeoides, a species now recognised as being restricted to coastal sites in the Dampier Archipelago to the Kalbarri region in Western Australia. Pittosporum angustifolium is mainly an inland tree and is widespread across much of Australia.

Family - Pittosporaceae

Common name - Weeping Pittosporum, Butter Bush

Flowers and fruit - Cream to pale yellow tubular flowers about 8mm across the mouth of the petals, in axils or terminal clusters.  Flowering period is winter and spring. Seed capsule is globose (round), smooth, yellow and 8 to 18mm long. The fruit is depressed vertically around the centre, splitting in two when ripe, to reveal red sticky seeds. When the tree is in fruit, the yellow capsules are very conspicuous.

Leaves and branches - Leaves are alternate, long and narrow 4 to 12mm wide and 4 to 12cm long, with a weeping habit. Outer and thin branches also have a weeping habit.

Habit and habitat - Pittosporum angustifolium is a shrub or tree to about 10mt high, almost glabrous (hairless) throughout, with a weeping habit. It grows in dry woodland communities.

Plentiful flowers of Pittosporum angustifolium

Tubular flowers in leaf axils

Weeping leaves of Pittosporum angustifolium

Distinctive fruit with vertical central depression

A 2mt Pittosporum angustifolium flowering