Pittosporum is a large group of evergreen shrubs and trees that are characterised by simple, leathery, often wavy leaves and small, sometimes fragrant, 5-petalled flowers. These are followed by spherical, usually orange or brown woody berries or capsules. When split open, these reveal seeds covered in dark, sticky pulp. Several species of pittosporum are grown as garden shrubs or small trees for their attractive foliage, with a number of varieties and cultivars available. Many have variegated - often shiny - leaves, and contrasting juvenile and adult leaf colour, which is intensified by full sun. Originally from Australasia, Oceania, East Asia and Africa, Pittosporums need to be kept sheltered from cold, drying winds and prefer a west or south facing aspect. They are suitable for borders, hedges and windbreaks in coastal areas. The roots of less hardy varieties can be protected in winter by providing a thick mulch.