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: (2002). Solanaceae. In: . 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.