Cestrum L.

Classical Greek name kestron or possibly kestrum — an engraver’s tool, referring to the anther shape.

Evergreen or deciduous, often soft-wooded shrubs. Leaves alternate, simple, entire, stalked. Flower clusters axillary or terminal. Flowers sometimes slightly irregular, white to orange-yellow, greenish yellow or red to maroon. Calyx tubular to bell-shaped, mostly 5-lobed, persistent in fruit. Corolla mostly tubular, sometimes inflated, with 5 lobes at the tip. Stamens 5, more or less the same, enclosed in the flower and generally attached at the base of the corolla. Ovary 2-chambered. Fruit a fleshy berry.

Grown for the clumping sprays of foliage and long-flowering, pendulous flower clusters, fragrant in C. nocturnum.

All parts should be treated as poisonous.

Soft or semi-hardwood cuttings.

Shrubs with tubular flowers, the calyx not swelling around the fruit.

About 175 species from tropical and subtropical C and S America with centres of distribution in Brazil and the Andes. 4 species have become naturalised in Australia.

Francey (1935, 1936), Beckett (1987), Symon (1981a).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Solanaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Solanales
family       Solanaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Cestrum aurantiacum Lindl.
species         Cestrum elegans (Neumann) Schltdl.