Gumbi Gumbi - Pittosporum angustifolium / Pittosporum Phylliraeoides or Gumby Gumby Tree
There is something to be said for planting a native tree!
Over generations they have uniquely adapted to their environment in such a way that success is almost guaranteed. Being around for a long time, the native trees have revealed their unique properties to Australia's Aboriginal people - who discovered the use, healing properties and food potential of many, many plants and trees and passed down the knowledge through word of mouth.
The Gumby Gumby Tree is one of those trees. It sports very attractive, weeping willow-like foliage and is slow growing, making this tree suitable for parks and gardens.
Pittosporum Phylliraeoides or Gumby Gumby Tree was recently the subject of a study at Griffith University in Queensland. They discovered, and I quote “The low toxicity of the P. phylliraeoides extracts and their inhibitory bioactivity against bacteria and fungi validate Australian Aboriginal usage of P. phylliraeoides and indicates its medicinal potential.” How wonderful that western science is validating what the aboriginal peoples already knew :)
You can find the full scientific article at: http://www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/handle/10072/42763/73661_1.pdf?sequence=1
You will find many online claims of the wonderful healing powers of products made from this plant. Extracts of the plant have been used in the treatment of eczema, pruritis, internal pains, skin irritations, sprained limbs, colds and much more. (The use of any plant for medicinal purposes should always be in consultation with your health professional).
Choosing this plant for your patch, whether it heals your ills or not, will definitely attract a lot of attention from friends, butterflies and birds! Cream, fragrant, tubular, petalled flowers will display from Winter until Spring and orange sticky fruits (also called native apricots) will display soon after, and they are very attractive to birds and well as looking very showy.
Gumby Gumby is a very tough tree withstanding drought and frost and long lived, so you are planting a tree that will continue to green the planet for 100 years or more :)
If you live in an inland arid sandy zone, definitely plant a few, as they are real survivors. Not picky with the soil type, they will also thrive in loamy and clay soils so long as it is free draining and in full sun.
These trees have many names:
Pittosporum angustifolium / Pittosporum Phylliraeoides or Gumby Gumby Tree, Weeping Pittosporum, Butterbush, Cattle Bush, Native Apricot, Gumbi Gumbi, Cumby Cumby, Meemeei and Berrigan.
A fascinating and beautiful native specimen, tough and with lots of exciting future potential :)
Plants available: Seedling trees, reliably sourced as quality stock - approx 30-35cm tall
Image of fruit property of Doug Sawkins - http://www.foxeslair.org (used with permission)