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A mainstay of northern beach communities, with flowers you can smell in the long summer evenings.

Pittosporum crassifolium
Can grow as high as
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More about this tree

  • Karo is a small coastal tree native to the northern parts of the North Island, though it has also moved further south, where in some places it is considered a pest plant.
  • Clusters of small dark red/purple flowers are prolific in spring and summer. They are heavily scented and, like most pittosporum flowers, are particularly noticeable at nightfall. 
  • The large seed capsules split to reveal sticky black seeds, which are dispersed by birds. 
  • It grows quickly on the coast, so is used frequently as a hedge or wind break in coastal environments.
  • Like the pōhutukawakaro has a thick leaf with a furry underside – an adaptation for coastal living to avoid moisture loss.
  • Records show that it has traditionally been used to produce black dye.