As an evergreen plant, it does the job of helping shade the south side of the house without adding much interest. In many ways it just blends in most of the time.
Part of the original landscape installation, it had seen better days when we moved back in nearly four years ago. I considered removing, but decided to cut it back and see if it improved. The following spring it bloomed and I understood just why it's also known as Japanese mockorange.
The blossoms have a distinctive citrus scent that fills the air, especially in the evenings. I've read that the sense of smell carries the strongest connection to memory. The lovely citrus scent reminds me of our first home near the Valencia orange groves of southern California and takes me back to my early gardening days. Everything grew so well there making gardening easy. The lemon tree in the back yard was planted in the ground and I never needed to bring anything in due to frost or freeze warnings. We could sit on our patio in January and watch snow fall on the mountains towering above our neighborhood on the flat desert floor. Yes, pleasant memories indeed.
The Red Admiral Butterflies share my enjoyment of the blooms
As do the bees
These bees also remind me of the orange groves in bloom. Beekeepers brought their beehives into the groves for orange blossom honey. We could hear the hum of the bees in the nearby groves for weeks. Many of the bees would stray over into our yard making it risky to be outside until the beehives were removed.
I probably would have selected the native Texas Mountain Laurel for this spot. There are some similarities. The Pittosporum does have shiny evergreen leaves and is very drought tolerant when established just like the Texas Mountain Laurel. And the blooms on both are especially nice and fragrant. The deer used to nibble the leaves, but now that it and the rosemary below are larger they seem to leave it alone.
The decision to keep this plant has little to do with those attributes. The main reason I'll keep this Pittosporum are those lovely scented flowers that bring back special memories.