Pittosporum tenuifolium - Tom Thumb
Position: full sun
Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
Rate of growth: average
Flowering period: May and June
Hardiness: frost hardy (needs winter protection in cold areas)
When grown in full sun, this compact, evergreen shrub has small, wavy, dark purple leaves and striking, dark grey or black young stems. With its distinctive rounded shape, and pretty leaves, which will turn green in shadier conditions, it will give all-year foliage interest in a sunny, well-drained mixed border. Try it as a punctuation point in a gravel garden, or with strappy phormiums for formal contrast. While it sometimes produces honey-scented, dark purple flowers in late spring and early summer, it's not a reliable flowerer. Protect from cold, drying winds.
Garden care: Requires minimal pruning. To thin or reduce growth prune mid-spring and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant.