Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sweetshade, Native Frangipani
Hymenosporum flavum

Family: Pittosporaceae
Genus: Hymenosporum (hy-men-oh-SPOR-um) (Info)
Species: flavum (FLA-vum) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

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


Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 26 photos.
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5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive lancer23 On Mar 12, 2015, lancer23 from San Francisco, CA wrote:

On the streets of San Francisco, they were planted some 10 yrs ago in the warmer part of the city. Its not a robust tree and some of them have died making gaps, empty space in the rows of trees and was replace by the smaller sized magnolias. I was walking by Church st near the Castro and the flowers were amazing with the cream and yellow all on one tree with strong pleasant scent. It have wonderful foliage and looks tropical as well. As a street tree it doesn't get take care of and we do have very strong wind sometimes. I like it much better then eucalyptus, the trunk is nice and smooth and straight, and doesn't get big around here. I would love to plant one for my home.

Positive samueleportugal On Aug 18, 2014, samueleportugal wrote:

I have a seed planted 15 year old tree of hymenosporum here in central portugal...we do get frosts occasionally...but it is very happy almost 8 m tall and giving lots of flowers each year and many seed pods.I am not sure when I should plant the seeds....just after winter? one in all the articles on this species tells when to plant the seeds....only telling that it can take up to 2 months for the seeds to germinate.
here in portugal it NEVER loses its leaves and as far as I know it is not supposed to , not being a deciduous species.
last january we had a tornado here and it was one of the only trees to get its leaves ripped to shreds, but it recovered very fast.

Neutral TRUNK On May 1, 2012, TRUNK from North Andrews Gardens, FL wrote:

grows well in south florida , but most people
do not know how to use this plant in Florida garden designs and it shows.

Let me help you:

Since this plant loses it leaves plant it in front of colorful plants like a wall of bougainvillea or other. Dont hug the bougs , just plant it away from but in front of a colorful wall. if you wnat to add interest and color , plant at bottom of areca palms and keep it trimmed as filler... it provides a colroful informal hedge with an instant tropical flair....from islands. theres more... but that is the basics.

Positive IanKer On Feb 3, 2011, IanKer from Perth
Australia wrote:

This is a quick-growing small tree that, whilst native to the East Coast of Australia (mainly Queensland) grows well in Perth in cultivation - despite Perth being hot and dry whereas Queensland is hot and humid. It is a bit prone to damage in high winds, but is generally robust.

Propagation is generally from seed rather than softwood cuttings as seeds are plentiful and germinate readily. I'll post a picture of an open seedpod from one of the trees in my back garden.

Positive sunriselmi On Nov 10, 2005, sunriselmi from Hughson, CA wrote:

fairly slow growing and a little weak wooded. fragrance is well worth it. great subtropical tree, light shade makes gardening around it easy.

Positive angelam On Apr 10, 2004, angelam from melbourne
Australia wrote:

In Australia this tree is called the Native frangipani because the scent of the flowers resembles that species.

Some authorities claim this is the most beautiful Australian tree. An exaggerated claim, although it is lovely in flower. The flowers start a creamy white and darken as they age to a deep yellow. When flowers of all ages are on a mature tree at the one time the effect is spectacular.

I have a young tree that after 2 years in my garden is now about 6ft having been a sapling in a tree tube. It flowered in its first Spring. It casts no significant shade but has a ring of side branches each 12-18 inches up the trunk.

Neutral palmbob On Apr 2, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

large, dark-green Australian native with profuse, small, 5 petal pale yellow to white flowers in early spring. Foliage pretty dense- makes a dark, sweet smelling shade but not a very spreading tree, so shade itself limited.

I just discovered this is the tree that is planted all over southern California that I always thought was a tree version of mock orange... smells great and spectacular tree in full flower. Common in industrial landscaping around Los Angeles and Orange County.


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

Hughson, California
Long Beach, California
Riverside, California
San Francisco, California
Spring Valley, California
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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