I. General Information
- Common name: Mojo Pittosporum, Japanese mock orange
- Scientific name/Botanical name: Pittosporum tobira ‘CNI Three’
- Family name: Pittosporaceae
- Growing Zones: Zones 7-10
- Mature Height: 3 Feet
- Mature Width: 3 Feet
- Sunlight: Part Sun To Shade
- Uses: Mojo Pittosporum prefers a well-drained loose soil and full sun to partial shade. Excellent salt tolerance makes it a perfect choice for use in coastal gardens.
- Bloom period: Spring, April-May
- Flower color: Orange
Pittosporum tobira is an attractive evergreen shrub in the Pittosporaceae family. It is a tough durable shrub that can withstand severe pruning, is drought, heat and salt spray tolerant.
At maturity, the species can reach 8 to 12 feet or more in height, with a 12 to 18 foot spread. The natural form is dense and mounded. Pittosporum responds well to pruning and can be maintained for many years at smaller sizes. Heavy, frequent pruning may mean sacrificing the fragrant flowers. Several cultivars, such as ‘MoJo’ and ‘Wheeler’s Dwarf’, have been selected for compact growth, some reaching as little as 2 to 3 feet tall at maturity.
Japanese pittosporum grows rapidly to 8 to 10 feet tall, and then growth slows considerably. Dwarf cultivars grow more slowly than the species.
Glossy evergreen leaves are tightly arranged in whorls at the ends of the branches. Variegated forms are perhaps even more common in the landscape than the dark green species due to the appeal of their gray-green and cream leaves.
Pittosporum bears extremely fragrant, orange-blossom scented, flower clusters in early to mid spring. The cream-white flower clusters are two to three inches wide and very showy against the dark green foliage of the species plant. They are less visible against the lighter leaves of variegated cultivars, but just as highly scented.
Pittosporums are well suited for hedges and screens due to their rapid growth rate, density and toughness. They also make very attractive small, multi-stemmed trees when lower branches are removed. Dwarf cultivars are attractive in foundation plantings, as high ground covers or mass plantings, and in containers.