The Brisbane laurel

The Brisbane laurel

Margo’s Manuscripts

The Brisbane laurel is only one of several common names for Pittosporum revolutum. Others include the rough-fruited pittosporum, yellow pittosporum, and wild yellow jasmine. This variation in name could lead to confusion and this is why it is better to use its scientific name.

This lovely, evergreen shrub grows to about 3 metres high with a diameter of about 2 metres and so is suitable for all garden sizes. The leaves are a vibrant green with undulating margins that maintain a lush, dense appearance throughout the year. Clusters of small, creamy-yellow, highly fragrant flowers in spring are followed by yellow, warty fruit that open to reveal deep red seeds. The flowers attract bees, butterflies and other insects which in turn attract insect-eating birds, whilst the seeds attract fructivorous birds. Thus, if you want a wild-life friendly garden, this shrub is an ideal addition to your landscape.

Pittosporum revolutum grows naturally in a variety of habitats (open forest through to rainforest margins) along the east coast of Australia from North Queensland to Victoria. As long as the soil is well drained, it tolerates a wide climatic range and either full or partial sun exposure. Although it prefers neutral to slightly acidic soils, it will grow in sand, loam and clay loam conditions.

This versatile, fast growing shrub can be used as a feature plant, grown in a large tub on patios or in groups to form a hedge or screen. Used in revegetation projects it is useful in erosion prevention. As a hardy, low-maintenance plant, it is useful in parks and is playground friendly. The flowers can be used for producing fragrant oils.

Pittosporum revolutum
Photograph by Heather Knowles.

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