Alien Invasives

Chilean Cestrum (Cestrum parqui)


05 October 2016

Chilean Cestrum (Cestrum parqui)

Chilean Cestrum forms an upright, straggly, woody deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub 2 to 3 metres high with one or more brittle green stems. The light-green, shiny leaves give off a foul rubbery smell when crushed. From late spring to autumn the plant has sprays of small, fragrant, tubular yellow-green flowers on the ends of the stems. These are followed by clusters of small, black egg shaped berries during summer to autumn.

Other names
Green Cestrum, Green Poison Berry, Willow-leaved Jessamine (English)
Invasive status
NEMBA Category 1b

Chilean Cestrum
Originally from
Central and South America
Where is it a problem?
Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State and coastal regions
How does it spread?
Seed dispersal by birds and water
Why is it a problem?
This plant rapidly invades gardens, rural lands and bush land. It has a swollen, deep and persistent taproot. This weed is considered a major problem because of its toxicity to livestock (especially cattle) and poultry which eat green cestrum when there is a shortage of other feed. All parts of the plant pose a serious threat to livestock. Death is usually rapid and painful. The plant is also known to be toxic to other livestock and humans.
Ornamental, hedging & windbreaker

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