Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pittosporum, Kohuhu, Nigricans Kohuhu, Black Matipo
Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Sheen'

Family: Pittosporaceae
Genus: Pittosporum (pit-oh-SPOR-um) (Info)
Species: tenuifolium (ten-yoo-ih-FOH-lee-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Silver Sheen

One vendor has this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost
By simple layering
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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5 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Inspector_Rex On Oct 9, 2014, Inspector_Rex from Melbourne
Australia wrote:

I have been enjoying the Pittosporum for seven years and been having the worst allergies of my life.(blocked sinues, nose and eye itches and swellings where contact made) and not understood what was causing me to have sneezing and swells on my contact with it. I realised this evergreen plant which I often trim and enjoy nursing was one of the worst allergy causing plants I have ever handled. I sneeze and have blocked sinuses since the hundreds and thousands of crimson red bulbs each with 5 petals started blooming four weeks ago till today they are still blooming and falling onto our front door. Every time we park our car next to it in our drive way we may brush past it to get to the front door of my house. One of my Pittosporum hedges is about 2.5m X 4m and has been trimmed into a nice rectangular hedge lining my front door entrance. After reading this article and testing it I would now have to plan to deal with this uncovered cause of my seven years of allergy suffering since I moved into this home which I bought in May 2007 with these majestic pittosporums the most beautiful of all my plants in this house.

Positive cagardener2013 On Mar 14, 2013, cagardener2013 from Newport Beach, CA wrote:

Beautiful tree and low maintenance.

Positive newgreenguy On May 13, 2012, newgreenguy wrote:

The most popular of the P.tenuifoliums here in SoCal. Its airy look makes it very elegant and useful as a screen where you also want light. Given the availability of plants from Australia/NZ, this former specimen is becoming more affordable/accessible and therefore more commonly planted which adds to the diversity of landscapes locally. Very nice plant/tree!

Positive edgeplot On Dec 26, 2008, edgeplot from Seattle, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Elegant evergreen with attractive silver-green leaves and contrasting black stems. My specimen grew quickly from 2.5 feet to 9 feet in two years, and has survived several days of 15F temperatures, a foot of snow, and many lesser freezing events.

Negative sootycat1 On Nov 16, 2007, sootycat1 from Sydney
Australia wrote:

I have just planted this Pittosporum in a clients' garden and have had an allergic reaction to it on my arms where I made contact with the leaves. Up until now I was unaware that this plant had the potential to cause rashes.
I am usually very hardy and have very few reactions to even the most notorious of plants, but this one has taken me by surprise.
I love the look of the plant but recommend planting it where people won't brush past it.

Positive ctb On Nov 9, 2007, ctb from Seal Beach, CA wrote:

It's a beautiful plant - doesn't require much watering. I live in Seal Beach and it seems to hold up well against those hot dry Santa Ana winds. I have seen it available at local nurseries.

Positive FullertonCA On Jun 22, 2004, FullertonCA from Lake Arrowhead, CA wrote:

Pittosporum tenuifolium "Silver Sheen" looks wonderful at the BACK of a garden. It is a rapid grower (mine is 9 ft after 2 years) and gets quite tall (20 ft at Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach). Its wispy growth is not conducive to shearing or shaping. Yet, it maintains a loose conical shape. The lightest breeze sways the delicate-looking green leaves. So far, it has been pest-free and has held up to our notoriously hot "Santa Ana" winds. "Silver Sheen" can be hard to locate, and can be more expensive than other pittosporum tenuifoliums. I hope to plant another, if I can find the space.

Neutral Baa On Aug 23, 2002, Baa wrote:

Large shrub or small tree from New Zealand.

Has glossy, tough, mid-green leaves with a wavy margin. Bears small, dark red, fragrant, bell shaped flowers.

Flowers April-June

Likes moist but well-drained fertile soil in sun or light shade.

It's not very hardy so it might need frost protection and shelter from winds in regions where the winter is cold.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Carlsbad, California (2 reports)
Castro Valley, California
Chula Vista, California
Coronado, California
Fountain Valley, California
Fremont, California
Fullerton, California
Garden Grove, California
Huntington Beach, California
Laguna Niguel, California (2 reports)
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Newport Beach, California
Palo Alto, California
Redondo Beach, California
San Clemente, California
San Diego, California
San Juan Capistrano, California
San Mateo, California
Seal Beach, California
Seattle, Washington

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