Bushy evergreen tree or shrub with variegated foliage. The leaves are 10-15 cm long, 2-4 cm wide, mid green, blotched along the wavy margins with creamy white. Foliage emits a lemon-like scent when crushed, hence the common name. Terminal clusters of honey-scented, 1-1.5 cm wide, pale yellow flowers during spring.
Pittosporum eugenioides is native to New Zealand where it occurs throughout the country along stream banks, forest margins and in forest clearings from sea level to about 600 m. The variegated form grows a bit slower than the species itself. It has a tapering habit when young, filling out to an open topped tree later on.
Prefers a sunny or partially shaded position in any well-draining soil. Is more tolerant of damp and heavy soils than most other Pittosporum species, but growth will be compromised. Tolerates coastal conditions, moderately strong winds, and medium frosts.
Suitable for hedging or screening purposes. Good contrasting plant in mixed plantings. Also ideal as a specimen tree in particular when pruned to show off the pale grey bark.
Foliage is often used in floral arrangements.