Pittosporum obcordatum

Key Features

  • A narrow shrub or small tree, typically reaching 4-5 m height but sometimes taller, with branchlets closely interlacing.
  • On young plants, the leaves are narrow, to 2-3 cm, and often lobed or toothed.
  • Adult leaves are smaller and rounded or heart-shaped.
  • Flowers occur in small clusters along the branchlets, and are pale yellow with red-tipped petals that curl back at the tips.
  • Flowers develop into small capsules that split in half to reveal the sticky, black seeds.

Distribution and Habitat

  • North Island and southern South Island.
  • Lowland forest and shrublands on alluvial flats that are subject to flooding.


  • Habitat modification and loss.
  • Recruitment failure due to browsing and weed encroachment.

Management Opportunities

  • Survey for new locations.
  • Mark known sites.
  • Protection of habitat.
  • Restrict or control browsing animals.
  • Collect seed and propagate for re-establishment in appropriate habitat.
  • Ensure that forest owners are aware of potential habitats and can recognise the species.

Monitoring Options

  • Check existing populations annually.
  • Report new locations to DOC, NZPCN.

Further Information and Support

  • New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN). http://www.nzpcn.org.nz
  • Pest control – Department of Conservation; Regional Councils.
  • References:
    • Dopson et al. (1999). The conservation requirements of New Zealand’s nationally threatened vascular plants. Threatened Species Occasional Publication 13. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
    • Wilson & Galloway (1993). Small-leaved shrubs of New Zealand. Manuka Press, Christchurch.
    • Wilson & Given (1989). Threatened plants of New Zealand. DSIR Publishing, Wellington.
    • Peter de Lange, Peter Heenan, David Norton, Jeremy Rolfe and John Sawyer (2010). Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 472 pp.