Herb: Weeping Pittosporum
Latin name: Pittosporum phillyreoides
Synonyms: Pittosporum angustifolium, Pittosporum phillyraeoides
Medicinal use of Weeping Pittosporum:Antispasmodic, antipruritic, galactogogue. Used in the treatment of eczema, pruritis and colds.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Dry land away from the coast. Often in extremely dry areas.
Edible parts of Weeping Pittosporum:Seed - dried and ground into a powder. Very bitter. A good edible gum is obtained from this plant. It oozes from wounded branches.
Other uses of the herb:The plant contains saponins. These have the potential to be used as soap or as a bird repellent. Since they are very bitter they can be sprayed over plants that you do not want the birds to eat. The saponins are easily removed by washing or the next rain shower. Wood - close grained, very hard. Used for turnery, cabinet making etc.
Propagation of Weeping Pittosporum:Seed - sow when ripe in the autumn or in late winter in a warm greenhouse. The seed usually germinates freely. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, move the plants to a cold frame as soon as they are established and plant out late in the following spring. Consider giving them some protection from the cold during their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Poor to fair percentage. Basal ripewood cuttings late autumn in a cold frame.
Cultivation of the herb:Dry land away from the coast. Often in extremely dry areas.
Known hazards of Pittosporum phillyreoides:This plant contains saponins. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans, and although they are fairly toxic to people they are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down if the food is thoroughly cooked for a long time. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.