Pittosporum undulatum

Sweet pittosporum

Family: Pittosporaceae

Origin: Australia

A sweet pittosporum with mature fruit beside another pittosporum.
A shrub from Australia that grows up to 3m tall. Sweet pittosporum looks very similar to native pittosporums when not fruiting.
Photo credit: Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • National Pest Plant Accord Species
  • Aotea — Exclusion
  • Whole region — Sustained control

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Shrub or small tree. Leaves are < 15 x 5 cm, elliptic and undulate. Flowers are white and fragrant. Fruit is orange, two-valved and < 1.5 cm in diameter.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell sweet pittosporum. As sweet pittosporum is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant sweet pittosporum within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any sweet pittosporum on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

If you see sweet pittosporum anywhere on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group, please report it to Auckland Council at pestfree@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.


Pasture, roadsides, coastal bluffs and cliffs, open scrubland, forest.


Seeds dispersed by birds.

Impact on environment

Reduces native plant species richness and cover. Potential to impact genetic diversity of native Pittosporum spp. through hybridisation.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group. Please report to Auckland Council if seen on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of seedlings with glyphosate gel. Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green per 10L of water.

Basic Growsafe certified: Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 250ml glyphosate green per 1L of water. Cut stems will resprout.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Close up of leaf tips and flowers of Sweet Pittosporum.
Sweet pittosporum can grow very well in New Zealand and may hybridise with native pittosporums. Once pollinated flowers form into orange fruit which is attractive to birds.
Photo credit: Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai
Canopy of mature Sweet Pittosporum in flower.
Mature sweet pittosporum leaves can get a distinctive discolouration on their green leaves of white dots. Birds will eat fruit and transport them to other areas to germinate.
Photo credit: Department of Conservation, Te Papa Atawhai