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Cheesewood

Pittosporum viridiflorum

White cape beech (Eng.), Kasuur, Witboekenhout (Afr.)

Cheesewood is a wonderful shade tree with its non-aggressive root system that is suitable for small/town house gardens. It is evergreen and makes a perfect hedge plant reducing wind damage. They do well in large pots. Cheesewood is a protected tree in South Africa. Selected as one of the Trees of the Year 2002.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Not usually harvested.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in trays in a mixture of river sand and compost; cover lightly with compost and keep moist. Seeds should germinate in 8-12 weeks.
Cuttings
Propagated by means of softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings. This plant transplants easily.

Special features

Drought resistant
Drought tolerance.
Attracts birds
Yellow-green capsules attract the birds such as red-eyed dove.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts bees, butterflies and other insects.
Hedge plant
Suitable to be planted nearby each other so branches can intertwine to create a barrier. Used to hide walls and create privacy. Planted in rows to reduce wind damage.
Pot plant
Makes a good container plant.

Geography

Origin
South Africa, Widespread throughout the country occurring from the Western Cape up along the East coast and all the way through Gauteng up to Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
Natural climate
Temperate, Coastal and dry inland.

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
Infusions of the bitter stem bark (liquorice smell) is to treat stomach complaints, ease abdominal pain, fever and to calm the patient. Dried, powdered root/bark is added to beer as an aphrodisiac.

Personality

Family
Pittosporaceae
Flower colour
Creamish-yellow
Scent
Strong

Problems

Problem free

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