Pittosporum undulatum is a tree with several unusual common names, including Victorian box and Australian cheesewood. What is Victorian box tree? It’s a type of box tree native to Australia that produces fragrant flowers. If you want more Victorian box information, including tips for growing Victorian box trees, read on.
What is Victorian Box Tree?
According to Victorian box information, the tree is an evergreen ornamental that thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 10. It shares the same genus as the more familiar pittosporum shrubs. The Victorian box tree usually grows with a single trunk and can reach 40 feet (12 m.) tall and wide. It is a quick-growing tree, shooting up to a yard (1 m.) each year. The leaves of this tree are evergreen and do not change color during the year. They are long and lance shaped, colored a shiny green. They give the tree a tropical look. The ornamental features of this tree are the fragrant blossoms and colorful fruit. White, frothy flowers appear in spring and, in warmer climates, throughout the year. These are followed by bright orange or yellow seed pods that look like berries.
Growing Victorian Box Trees
If you live in zones 9 or 10 and are interested in growing Victorian box trees, you need to learn about the cultural care these trees require. Unless the trees receive optimal care, Victorian box trees in landscapes decline as they age. Generally, those growing Victorian box trees are impressed by how easy they are to grow. However, to prevent Victorian box decline, you’ll need to take a lot of care in selecting a planting site and caring for the plant. Victorian box trees in landscapes should be planted in a sunny area. Be sure that the soil offers excellent drainage. You’ll want to irrigate the tree appropriately. Give it enough water to moisten the top foot (30.5 cm.) of soil. Repeat this whenever the top few inches (5 cm.) of soil are dry. Victorian box trees do not appreciate compacted soil. Avoid this, as well as any type of root disturbance. Apply a thin layer of organic mulch over the root area, keeping it well away from the trunk. Keep all grasses, groundcovers, and weeds out of the root area.
Is Victorian Box Invasive?
Some types of Victorian box tree have been found to be invasive in certain locations. For example, Hawaii has declared Pittosporum undulatum to be a noxious weed and it is a “category 1” invasive plant in South Africa. Check with your local extension office before considering planting this tree.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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