Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’

Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Tom Thumb', Regent's Park, 11 February 2021
Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’, Regent’s Park, 11 February 2021

Small evergreen shrub growing to 1m x 1m, with small distinctive glossy leaves, slightly crinkled, which emerge light green in the spring before turning a deep maroon-purple in the summer. Naturally domed shaped but can look a little loose if unclipped.

H x S: 1m x 1m

Aspect and soil: full sun for best leaf effect but happy in part shade, in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in a sheltered spot. Not particularly keen on clay.

Use: Great structural presence towards the front or middle of a border; perfect in winter gardens, especially those with a ‘Mediterranean’ or antipodean theme.

Care: no particular pruning required, just cosmetic clipping is a clean shape is required. Mulch with garden compost in autumn or spring.

Wildlife: small lightly scented flowers in the spring (though not reliably so).

Hazard: —

Origin: New Zealand (species)

Hardiness: H4