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Hymenosporum flavum, Native Frangipani

Hymenosporum flavum is a member of the Pittosporaceae family and is the only member of the genus. The common name is Native Frangipani and refers to the sweetly scented flowers reminiscent of the exotic frangipani. This is the only characteristic that they have in common.

Hymenosporum flavum, in the wild, will reach a height of 25 metres whilst in cultivation the maximum height is usually ten metres or so.

Leaves are up to 15 centimetres long, dark green and glossy above, pale green beneath with prominent venation.

Flowers are held in terminal clusters, three centimetres across, tubular with five lobes. Initially blooms are pale cream, ageing to orange-yellow sometimes with reddish tones. They are highly perfumed and are carried, in large numbers, in the warmer months. The perfume, from the blooms, permeates the garden. The blooms appear to have a long vase life as cut flowers. Flowers are followed by capsules that hold a number of winged seeds.

Hymenosporum flavum has a wide distribution extending from north-eastern Queensland to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney as well as New Guinea. The Native Frangipani inhabits rainforests and temperate forests.

The Native Frangipani struggles in our cold climate garden but we are having success incorporating it in our dense shrubberies where shelter is provided.

The genus name refers to the prominently winged seeds and the species name means yellow referring to the flowers.

There is a dwarf form known as “Gold Nugget” that is less than a metre in height.

Propagate from seed or cuttings. 

Warren and Gloria Sheather

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