Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Bannow Bay’

Tawhiwhi 'Bannow Bay'


Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Bannow Bay’ is an evergreen shrub with a compact, low growing habit. The foliage come out in the spring as creamy-yellowish green, and turn a deep shade of green in summer. In winter leaves turn a gorgeous burgundy red, making this plant an interesting choice for all seasons.


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Origin: New Zealand, cultivar of horticultural origin
Genus: Pittosporum
Species / Cultivar: tenuifolium 'Bannow Bay'
Common Name: Tawhiwhi 'Bannow Bay'
Synonym: P. tenuifolium 'Breebay'

Plant Biography

Pittosporum tenuifolium originates in New Zealand where it grows in coastal areas and lower mountain areas, near forest edges. It can cope really well with windy positions and poor soils.

It flowers between April and November (if the weather is warm enough), however most of the time the dark reddish-purple flowers go unnoticed.

The root system of the Pittosporum tenuifolium runs shallow and spreads out to catch as much of the rain water as possible.

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Bannow Bay’
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Part Shade
Enjoys direct sun most of the day, but tolerant of fewer sunlit hours or light dappling.
Eventual Height: 0.5 - 1.0m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.5 - 1.0m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Hardy
Survives unprotected in an average winter. May need protection in extreme long frosts.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Bannow Bay’ is a shrub that tends to grow low, producing a dense globe like shape about 1 m in diameter. This makes it ideal for low hedges and planters.

In winter, the leaves of the leaves turn to pink and then crimson red, almost burgundy.  When planted in containers, the Pittosporum tenuifolium should be watered frequently as its roots don’t go very deep in the soil.

Feed in spring and summer with a high nitrogen fertiliser or a slow release balanced fertiliser for the plant to thrive.

It may require protection in winter with a fleece jacket to keep frost away.

Plant trivia

In its native environment, the plant's resin is collected by the Māori people and it's used to scent houses and has been used for medicinal purposes for various ailments.


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