Friday, 14 September 2012

MELBOURNE STREET TREES 18

Pittosporum undulatum is a tree growing to 15m tall with wavy (undulating) leaf edges. It is sometimes also known known as Sweet Pittosporum, Native Daphne, Australian Cheesewood, Victorian Box or Mock Orange. It carries conspicuous orange woody fruits about 1 cm in diameter for several months after flowering in spring or early summer.

Originally Pittosporum undulatum grew in moist areas on the Australian east coast but has increased its range since European settlement. It is a fast grower, and has become a weed in other parts of Australia where it is not indigenous. It is also highly invasive in South Africa, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Azores and southern Brazil.

The status of P. undulatum around the Sydney area is contentious. Even though it is native to the region, P. undulatum has spread to soils and bushland where it wasn't found before European settlement, often out-competing other plants. It has done especially well in areas where the environment has been altered by humans - for example by habitat fragmentation weakening other natives, by fertiliser runoff from homes increasing soil nutrients and by the suppression of bushfires near suburbs.

During the Australian Spring (September) the tree is covered with a profusion of flowers that are highly fragrant. A sole tree in flower can scent a large area in the neighbourhood, especially during the evening and night. Orange fruits follow the flowers and these then open up to reveal several sticky reddish seeds.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.







11 comments:

  1. What a lovely tree and beautiful blossoms! Your wonderful blue skies are the perfect backdrop!! I love your captures for the day, Nick, as always!!

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  2. I like the version "Victorian Box", 15 feet is really tall ! Looks like beautiful days ahead in Melbourne ! To find so much greenery in a city and well maintained is a great effort by the Local Government !

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  3. Lovely trees. Have a happy Friday Nick.

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  4. Nice trees! Here the trees loose their leaves.

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  5. thanks for the reminder of this delightful spring scent
    i've never seen (noticed) the orange fruit
    wonderful imagery


    kel @ www.cre8space.blogspot.com.au

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  6. I had not noticed the fruits before either. I wonder if our varieties have them? I have always loved this tree - although I think ours is a slightly different version here. I have one in my garden, and it is not invasive...thanks for the info on it!

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  7. there are some trees similar to this around here
    that last shot is fascinating!

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  8. I love fragrant trees and how they scent the whole area where they grow. I could never consider one of these a weed, if we had them.

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  9. Nick,
    I love to look at your pictures.
    You show always trees and flowers I didn't know before.
    Thank you,
    Gisela.

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