Common Name:Australian cheesewood, Sweet Pittosporum
Botanical name:Pittosporum undulatum
Legal Status:NEMBA Category 1b
Evergreen shrub or tree growing up to 12m high, with slender branches and native to eastern Australia. It has smooth, grey bark and leaves which are up to 150mm long, thin, shiny and dark green. The flowers are white and fragrant, up to 13mm long with five downward curving petals; flowering from August-September. Fruits are showy, two-halved capsules up to 13mm in diameter, orange turning brown; seeds surrounded by a sticky pulp.
Where does this species come from?
Native to the coastal and sub-coastal districts of eastern Australia (i.e. south-eastern and central Queensland, eastern New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and eastern Victoria).
Why is it a problem?
It can fruit heavily and seeds are eaten by a wide range of birds. It is very competitive, shading out other vegetation, first invading relatively open canopied forest and forming a dense understorey. It is especially threatening in the South African fynbos.
Means of reproduction?
This species reproduces by seed and suckers.Seeds are eaten and spread by fruit-eating (i.e. frugivorous) birds. They are also dispersed by sticking to birds, other animals and clothing and are sometimes spread in dumped garden waste.
For more information: Invasive Species South Africa - Pittosporum undulatum | Australian cheesewood, Sweet Pittosporum
City of Cape Town Invasive Species ID Kit - Click here to download a z-folder pamphlet on Pittosporum undulatum | Australian cheesewood, Sweet Pittosporum