Green cestrum

Cestrum parqui
Prized for its sweet night scented flowers, it was widely planted as a garden hedge plant in the 1800s.
Family: Solanaceae
Origin: South America
Habit: Green cestrum has been found in all regions of NSW. It was introduced from South America as an ornamental garden plant but has become a significant weed. It grows in sub tropical and warm-temperate regions and is frost tolerant and grows in a wide range of soil types and rainfall areas. It is common in alluvial soils along waterways. It also grows along fence lines and forest edges and in woodlands and grasslands.
Leaves: Its leaves are shiny, green to dark green, 8–10 cm long and 1–3 cm wide. They have smooth edges and are lance-shaped and pointed at both ends, alternate along the branch They have a foul smell when crushed.
Flowers: Its flowers are normally yellow but can be greenish, trumpet-shaped with 5–7 small, triangular petals 2.0–2.5 cm long in clusters at the end of branches. They can be pungent smelling during the day and sweet smelling in the evening. They are present from late spring to autumn.
Fruit and Seeds: It has shiny egg-shaped berries 10-15 mm long in clusters that are green when young and go black when ripe. Though the dark pulp will stain fingers a purple colour if they are squashed. The berries can look shriveled and dull black or grey if still on the bush in winter. They are present during summer and autumn with several seeds which are wrinkled and about 3–4 mm long.
Roots: Substantial tap root that gives rise to many laterals. Suckering habit and will re-shoot from any root stock left in the ground.
Dispersal: Seeds and roots spread by water, animals (mainly birds), humans, contaminated soil (earth moving equipment, car tyres etc.) and garden refuse dumping.
Control: Hand dig/pull juveniles plants. Cut and Paint, scrape and paint and foliar spray.


It is poisonous to people and livestock. It should not be sold in any part of NSW.
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