Plantidote of the Day 2013-02-06
Pittosporum tobira 'Variegata'
A very popular hedge here in Zone 10, although the non-variegated version is more common. Here are some interesting details from the University of Florida website:
Clusters of creamy white flowers with a fragrance similar to orange blossoms appear in spring, but they are rarely seen on shrubs because they are frequently pruned off with the regular trimming required to keep the plant in check. Flowers also get lost in the green and white foliage. It is really better suited as a small tree with lower branches removed to reveal the multi-stemmed trunk, and branches should be left unpruned to allow the flowers to show in the spring. Prune after the flower display. Careful training and pruning can create an ornamental small tree form.
So the message seems to be -- take it easy on the pruning and let the flowers have a chance. Which is interesting, because I walk past this hedge every single day and have never seen so much as one flower on it :-( There must be some overly industrious gardeners in the neighborhood. Too bad, the flowers sound like a real treat, with the orange-blossom fragrance and all. Here's what it looks like in bloom. Sweet!!
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