Indigenous to South Africa, with a widespread distribution on the Highveld and eastern parts of the country, the Cheesewood is a popular tree in the garden. Growing to a height of between 4 – 15 m, the tree has a dense, straight to rounded crown and is evergreen with glossy, dark green leaves.
Trusses of creamy-green flowers appear from September to December and these will attract a host of insects with its sweet honey smell. At the end of the flowering season beautiful red, edible berries follow which in turn attract various bird species.
The Cheesewood is often described as a ‘perfect’ garden tree. It has non-invasive roots and the shiny foliage does not make a mess. The scented flowers and attractive seeds invite birds and bees to the garden, while offering a pretty display. The tree is a medium-paced grower and can withstand mild frost and drought conditions, although it will flourish when planted in well-drained soil with adequate watering.
Growing in either full sun or light shade, Pittosporum viridiflorum can easily be planted in a container and also acts as an excellent screening tree as it can be planted alongside paving or retaining walls. This is a true all-rounder that is becoming increasingly popular as a street or small garden tree.