Pittosporum phillyreoides – GumbyGumby
Also known as the Willow Pittosporum and GumbyGumby (Gumbi Gumbi), Pittosporum phillyreoides ( syn. Pittosporum angustifolium) is a weeping tree with a reputation in Aboriginal culture. Reaching around 5m in height and with rounded green egg shape fruit that turn to an apricot colour as they ripen.
A plant that is decorative, drought tolerant and also used as a bush tucker food, and also said to have medicinal uses.
The leaves were used in waterholes to stun fish. The reputation today is that the plant has cancer curing properties.
Be aware that this is a variable species, it is found in every mainland state and has more common names than we have mentioned, each one applying to a slightly different tree.
Useful in the garden as it is attractive with its weeping foliage and fragrant flowers. Drought tolerant and easy to grow. Very attractive to butterflies and insects when in flower. Parrots will eat the fruit and Emus will eat the seeds.
This is a plant that has a tendency to sucker, so it should be planted in a position where this will not be a major issue.
Easily pruned to an attractive bushy shape, a good shade tree or screen.
Pittosporum phillyreoides – Summary Information
- Height – Will reach around 6 – 10 metres in height depending on climate and soil.
- Spread – Will reach around 3 – 4 metres in width.
- Growth rate – Slow.
- Position – Full sun is best although Pittosporum phillyreoides will take a little shade.
- Soil – Well drained.
- Flower colour _ Yellow.
- Flowering period – Winter to spring.
- Foliage – Mid green, narrow .