Indigenous to South Africa and other countries like Arabia, Madagascar and India, Pittosporum vidiflorum is an evergreen tree characterised with a dense roundish upright crown. In South Africa, this tree has a widespread distribution on the Highveld and Eastern parts of the country.
This tree has the potential of reaching 30m when growing in a forest but rarely reaches a height of 6m in a garden condition. Pittosporum vidiflorum is often confused with Sideroxylon inerme. In young trees, stems are pale grey becoming dark grey and rough with small pits as the trees mature. The small pits are an attractive feature on this tree. Dense clusters of the sweetly scented creamy yellow to greenish flowers appear from September to December making this tree very striking in summer.
The cheesewood tree is fairly frost and drought resistant and grows equally well in full sun and semi-shade conditions. It has a moderate growth rate of 400-700mm per year. The non-invasive nature of cheese wood’s root system makes it an ideal choice for small gardens and as a container plant on patios. In the landscape, Pittosporum vidiflorum responds well to pruning and is useful as a hedge along driveways or fence lines.