T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Cestrum (Early jessamine) Cestrum fasciculatum

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Cestrum
Species: C. fasciculatum
Binomial name: Cestrum fasciculatum, 
Synomym:, Cestrum purpureum, Cestrum newellii
Common names: Early jessamine

Cestrum fasciculatum is a species of flowering, vigorous, erect, perennial, evergreen, long-lived, woody shrub in the nightshade family, Solanaceae (potato family). It is partly deciduous in winter. It can reach a height of <4m tall but more commonly 1-2m. It is native to central Mexico, Chile and Peru but it is also kept elsewhere as an ornamental plant. Cestrum fasciculatum prefers higher rainfall areas and is very frost tolerant.
The stems, and especially new twigs, are sometimes purple in colour and slightly hairy. It bears hairy, oval-shaped, pointed green leaves up to 13 centimetres long. The leaves omit an offensive smell if crushed or bruised.
Inflorescences appear during August to March, at the tips of the stems branches, each is a dense cluster of up to 10 hairy scarlet red flowers. Each tubular flower is 2 or 3 centimetres long, counting the elongated calyx of sepals and the long corolla.
The fruit is a berry about 1.5 centimetres wide and it is a dark red on the outside and white on the inside with about 10 small brown seeds. The The seeds can remain dormant in the soil for many years. Cestrum fasciculatum will also reproduce vegetatively from buds from creeping roots.

This plant invades both native bush and exotic forests. Its habitats are waste areas, stream banks, near gardens, bush margins, gullies and alluvial flats. It produces many long-lived seeds that are widely dispersed by birds, flooding, soil movement and vegetation dumping. It will form dense stands preventing the establishment of native plant seedlings. 

  All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested and is extremely toxic to farm animals if grazed. Visit   http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/plants-toxic-if-eaten-by-man.html


Leaf shape