Hymenosporum flavum

Hymenosporum flavum – Australian Frangipani

Clusters of fragrant white flowers, ageing to yellow, cover this tree in early summer.


This is normally grown as a small garden tree, pruned to about 6M tall. However, in rainforests phototrophism can cause it to grow to over 20M. The flowers are pleasantly fragrant, though hardly a patch on the true Frangipani, and they attract a range of birds and insects. The glossy green leaves last about two years, before dropping, giving this tree a semi-evergreen appearance with a slightly bare appearance at the end of winter.


H. flavum is native to the rainforests of New Guinea and Eastern Australia. It is the only species ion the genus and belongs in the Pittosporum family.

Soil / Aspect:

This plant will be healthy in a range of soils and locations, though it grows best in well drained soil and will flower best in full sun. H. flavum is included in the Tasmanian Fire Service’s list of low flammability plants, indicating that it is suitable for growing there within the urban fringe.


Very young plants may need to be protected from frost, and plants will need to be kept well watered until they are established. However, the main task is to prune this small tree to shape as it grows.