Orange Thorn

Common Name: Orange Thorn

Scientific Name: Pittosporum multiflorum (formerly Citriobatus pauciflorus)

One thing that has puzzled me since expanding my knowledge of native fauna is the way in which names change. So I think I’ll stick with the common name – Orange Thorn. Pittosporum originates from Greek meaning resin-seed and referring to the stickiness of the seeds.

This plant is scattered throughout the rain forest within our conservation area and has always intrigued me as it is so different to surrounding fauna. It is a wiry shrub that grows up to 1.5m and has orange berries and very distinct and thorny branches with glossy green leaves. The small berry-sized, orange fruit is edible and ripe from May – July with a crunchy texture and mild, slightly sweet flavor.
As usually suggested, we don’t recommend you eat the berries unless they are accurately identified. It has been difficult to research more information about the edible nature of this plant and I have been unable to identify any indigenous significance at this time.

The plant is found near rainforest in and in wet sclerophyll forest and has tiny white flowers from September through till December.

The dense foliage provides a habitat for small birds and animals and attracts small birds to the garden as the spines offer protection from larger birds. The berries are eaten by the Wonga Pigeon and the plant provides food for the Bright Copper butterfly.

The plant can be propagated from seed or cuttings and is slow to germinate.
More Information can be found at Save our Waterways

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