ALAINN: “BEAUTIFUL, FINE, LOVELY”. (IRISH) OLD IRISH ÁLAIND‎

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(Pittosporum bicolor)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Pittosporum bicolor
Pittosporaceae

Makes a good wind-resistant hedge in the warmest gardens in Britain[182].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although no mention has been found for this species, some members of this genus contain saponins. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans, and although they are fairly toxic to people they are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down if the food is thoroughly cooked for a long time. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow when ripe in the autumn or in late winter in a warm greenhouse[78, 200]. The seed usually germinates freely. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, move the plants to a cold frame as soon as they are established and plant out late in the following spring[78]. Consider giving them some protection from the cold during their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Poor to fair percentage[78]. Basal ripewood cuttings late autumn in a cold frame[200].
Succeeds in any well-drained soil[182, 200], including dry soils, preferably in a sunny position[182] but also succeeding in light shade[200]. Plants are not very hardy in Britain, they require winter protection at Kew Gardens but do well outdoors in the southern and western maritime counties where some specimens have reached 10 metres tall[11]. The small flowers are highly fragrant[182]. They open over a long season, though they are mainly open in the spring[219]. Very amenable to pruning, plants can be cut right back into old wood if required[200]. The species in this genus are very likely to hybridize with other members of the genus[200]. When growing a species from seed it is important to ensure that the seed either comes from a known wild source, or from isolated specimens in cultivation. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Australia – New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.