Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pittosporum, Kohuhu, Nigricans Kohuhu, Black Matipo
Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Tom Thumb'

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


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By Baa
Thumbnail #1 of Pittosporum tenuifolium by Baa

By wallaby1
Thumbnail #2 of Pittosporum tenuifolium by wallaby1

By wallaby1
Thumbnail #3 of Pittosporum tenuifolium by wallaby1

By kniphofia
Thumbnail #4 of Pittosporum tenuifolium by kniphofia

By growin
Thumbnail #5 of Pittosporum tenuifolium by growin

By growin
Thumbnail #6 of Pittosporum tenuifolium by growin

By Terri1948
Thumbnail #7 of Pittosporum tenuifolium by Terri1948

There are a total of 9 photos.
Click here to view them all!


1 positive
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative vossner On Oct 30, 2011, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Not rating the plant as negative but rather my experience growing it. I tried 6 plants, count them: six, and they did not make it. Don't know if it was our unusually harsh summer in 2011 or what. I was heartbroken. The plants came from overseas and looked good upon receipt; however, they were enroute for 5 weeks ea. time. That could have also been a factor.

Positive wallaby1 On Dec 17, 2005, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

I bought this from Travena Cross nursery, UK. It was a good sized plant, but still quite young, planted in present spot in 2001 after a year in a pot. It is in a position which gets no sun in winter, and has been through quite hard frosts to at least -9C; being out of the sun when freezing it doesn't thaw often in the day time. This has not done it any harm at all, it was said to be hardy to -6C, but is in a free draining soil.

The growth has been quite quick for a dwarf shrub, and I have a clematis Piilu climbing through it, an amazing sight. They are perfectly matched for colour, and the growth of the clematis is slow and ideally suited.

Neutral Baa On Aug 23, 2002, Baa wrote:

Tom Thumb is a dwarf cultivar of P. tenuifolium and forms a low growing shrub. It's had the high honour of the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

The young leaves start out as a light green and turn dark bronze/purple with age.

It's best grown in full sun for colour.

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