Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Pittosporum revolutum Dryand. ex W.T.Aiton

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and dehiscing fruits. © B. Gray
Fruit, two views and dehiscing. © W. T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Dryander, J. in Aiton, W.T. (1811) Hortus Kewensis 2: 27. Type: Nat. of New South Wales. ex Hort. Kew; holo: K. Fide Cooper (1956).

Common name

Hairy Pittosporum; Yellow Pittosporum; Rough-fruit Pittosporum; Revolute Pittosporum; Pittosporum, Revolute; Pittosporum, Lemon-fruit; Pittosporum, Hairy; Laurel, Brisbane; Brisbane Laurel; Lemon-fruit Pittosporum


Occasionally grows into a small tree but usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 1-3 m tall.


Scale leaves normally present on the twigs between the whorls of leaves. Leaf blades about 6-17 x 2.5-6 cm, densely clothed in matted, tortuous, brown hairs, young shoots, terminal buds, twigs and petioles similarly clothed. Lateral veins curving well inside the blade margin forming indistinct loops. Petiole grooved or flattened on the upper surface. Small white or pale coloured lenticels usually visible on the twigs.


Sepals linear, about 4-8 x 1.5 mm, sparsely rusty tomentose eventually becoming +/- glabrous. Petals glabrous, about 12.5-18 x 2.5-5 mm, coherent for about two thirds of their length in a cylindrical or somewhat urceolate tube. Stamens about 6.5-12 mm long, filaments glabrous, base of the filaments broader than the anthers. Ovary densely pubescent, clothed in long brown hairs, style and stigma glabrous.


Capsules ellipsoid to subglobose, about 15-28 x 11-21 mm, coarsely rugose on the outer surface, valves woody, about 2-3 mm thick, yellow on the inner surface. Placentas with funicles attached nearly all the way from the base to near the apex. Seeds about 20-76, reddish brown, immersed in a white sticky substance. Embryo small, difficult to find, about 0.5 mm long, cotyledons no wider than the radicle.


Cotyledons about 19-21 x 11 mm, apex apiculate, At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade obovate, apex abruptly acuminate, base cuneate or attenuate, margin somewhat recurved. Cataphylls present between successive leaf flushes. Stem, leaf blade, petiole and bud densely clothed in tortuous and straight rusty coloured hairs. Seed germination time 63 to 77 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Australia, occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards to Victoria. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1100 m. Usually grows in open forest but can grow in and on the margins of some of the drier types of rain forest.

Natural History & Notes

This attractive shrub is now starting to gain popularity and is an outstanding plant even for a small garden. It has bunches of yellow flowers that are followed by large orange fruit which split to reveal red seeds.

Pittosporum revolutum Dryand. var. revolutum, Queensland Agricultural Journal 28: 195(1912). Pittosporum tomentosum Bonpl., Description des Plantes Rares cultivees a Malmaison et a Navarre : 56(1813), Type: Habitat in Nova Hollandia. [given by R.C.Cooper, Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 43 (1956) 164 as Bonpland s.n.!]. Pittosporum fulvum Rudge, Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Botany 10 : 298(1810), Type: Port Jackson in Novae Hollandiae Lecto: R. Brown s.n.; (BM; the type sheet is marked1 New Holland, Flemming.) Fide Cooper (1956). Pittosporum hirsutum Link, Enumeratio Plantarum Hortus Regii Berolinensis Altera 1 : 233(1821), Type: (not cited). Pittosporum revolutum var. tomentosum (Bonpl.) F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 28: 195(1912).
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