≡ Menu

Plant Profile: Sweetshade (Hymenosporum flavum)

hymenosporum-flavumSweetshade is a slender evergreen tree native to New Guinea and Queensland and New South Wales, Australia where it grows in rainforests and tall open forest habitats. It is closely related to the popular shrub Pittosporum. The dark green leaves are shiny and pointed at the apex . They are two to six inches long by one to two inches wide and carried in clusters at the ends of the branches. In late spring to early summer loose terminal clusters of once inch wide fragrant tubular flowers appear. They are cream colored or pale yellow at first but turn deep honey-color marked with red at the throat as they mature. The one inch long fruits are smooth, flat, and lantern-like.

Type: Evergreen tree

Outstanding Feature: Flowers; habit

Form: Slender pyramid

Growth Rate: Moderate

Bloom: Loose terminal clusters of fragrant, terminal yellow flowers marked with red at the throat in late spring to early summer

Size: 10-50’ H x 5-20’ W

Light: Full sun; toleratessome shade but will not flower as well.

Soil: Average, moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 9-11

Care: Protect from the wine; prune in spring when tree is young to eliminate weal lower branches. Water deeply once permonth.

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Fresh seed; stem cuttings

Comments: Branches are brittle unless pruned to strong crotches when young.