by Stephen Mifsud
   22 Jun 2024      ()
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Pittosporum tobira   (Japanese Mock Orange)

Pittosporum tobira  (PITTOSPORACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Nov-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Pittosporum tobira - datasheet created on Nov-2007. Retrieved from on 22-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Pittosporum tobiraW.T.Aiton
Published in Hortus Kew. 2: 27 (1811)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Euonymus tobira Thunb.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Pittosporaceae R. Br. (The Pittosporum Family)
1 species from the Pittosporaceae family is recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Japanese Mock Orange, Shrubby Putterlick, Japanese Cheesewood

Maltese name(s) :


Status for Malta :

Naturalised Alien. Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 (Columbus' discovery of the New World) and spreads and integrates to form established, non-invasive populations. Species may become become invasive if it widespreads rapidly.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte ( high trees usually over 10 m high )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

June – August

Colour of Flowers:



Toxic, and may lead to irreversible damage or death if consumed in large quantities

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Cannot be planted in the wild (rural areas) since the species may be invasive (see ERA guidelines)

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Botanical Description: Shrub up to 5 m. Leaves 4-10 x 2-5 cm, obovate, coriaceous, glabrous. Flowers in small, subterminal corymbs, c. 2.5 cm in diameter, very fragrant. Petals broadly oblong, creamy white, later yellow. Capsule 10-12 mm, subglobose, with 3 valves.
Distributional range: Widely cultivated for ornament in S. Europe naturalized in Açores and parts of the Mediterranean region.
Native region outside Europe: (E. Asia.)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Introduced in  the Azores, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
-Cy [Az(C F J L) Bl(M) Co Ga(F) dHs Hs(S) It cLi Lu Sa]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (15 images)
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-0.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-1.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-2.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-3.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-4.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-5.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-6.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-7.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-8.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-9.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-10.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-11.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-12.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-13.
   Pittosporum tobira   -   Image Code: PTTTB-14.

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Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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