CESTRUM

FAMILY: Solanaceae

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Shrubs
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • Poisonous/Toxic

Plant Details

These brightly flowered shrubs grow fast in warm, sheltered spots, with an arching, lax growth habit that benefits from consistent pinching and nipping back. May be cut back severely after flowering or fruiting. Clusters of tubular, inch-long flowers are attractive to hummingbirds; the showy fruit that follows can also attract birds. Add organic soil amendments before planting. Feed generously.

C. aurantiacum. ORANGE CESTRUM. CS, TS; USDA 9-11. Native to Guatemala. Rare and handsome. To 8 ft. tall and wide. Brilliant show of clustered orange-yellow flowers in late spring and summer, followed by white berries. Deep green, oval, 4-in. leaves. Good for espalier. May spread by suckers.

C. elegans. RED CESTRUM. Native to Mexico. Shrub or semiclimber to 10 ft. or more in height and spread, with arching branches and deep green, 4-in. leaves. Plant produces masses of purplish red flowers in spring and summer; these are followed by red berries. Good choice for espalier. C. e. smithii has pink flowers.

C. fasciculatum. A native of Mexico. Similar to C. elegans but larger in all its parts.

C. 'Newellii'. Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11. May be a hybrid of C. fasciculatum and C. elegans; resembles the former but has bright crimson flowers. Some plants listed as C. 'Newellii' may in fact be C. fasciculatum.

C. nocturnum. NIGHT-BLOOMING JASMINE. Native to West Indies. To 12 ft. tall and wide, with 4- to 8-in.-long leaves and clusters of creamy white summer flowers followed by white berries. Blossoms powerfully fragrant at nighttoo much so for some people. 'Orange Peel', a hybrid with another West Indian species, has orange-yellow flowers tipped in yellow. Full sun.

C. parqui. CHILEAN CESTRUM, WILLOW-LEAFED JESSAMINE. Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11. Native to Chile. To 610 ft. tall and wide, with many branches from base. Densely clothed in willowlike, 3- to 6-in.-long leaves. Greenish yellow summer flowers in clusters. Dark, violet-brown berries. Not as attractive as other species in form, flowers, or fruit, but its perfume is potent. Leaves blacken in light frost. Best used where winter appearance is unimportant. In the Lower and Coastal South, protect roots with mulch; treat as perennial.

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