AZ Arboretums

Pittosporum tobira

Desert zinnia

Common: Mock orange, Australian laurel, Japanese mock orange
Family: Pittosporaceae
Origin: Native to China and Japan
Sunset Zone: 8-24
Light: Full sun to half shade
Soil: Any soil; prefers garden soil enriched with humus
Water: Tolerate aridity; best with regular water. Once established, needs deep periodic soakings.
Temperature: Hardy to cold, accepts heat

Best for screens, massing, or individually; effective in containers. Adds oriental and tropical effect to landscapes. Makes dense green background to flowering shrubs. Broad dense shrub or small tree.

Slow growing to 6-15 ft. tall, rarely to 30 ft.; can be held to 6 ft. by careful heading back and thinning. Spreads to 6-10 feet.

Clean looking dense foliage, leaves leathery and shiny dark green, 2-5 inches long with rounded ends; leaves grow in rosettes.

Clusters of white flowers at branch tips in early spring have fragrance of orange blossoms. Flowers become round blue-green fruit that turn brownish in fall and split to show orange seeds.

Plants are brittle and break easily. Prone to Texas root rot or root knot nematodes.