Weed Identification

Australia > > Green Cestrum

Green Cestrum

Cestrum parqui

Alternative Name(s): Chilean Cestrum, Green Poisonberry.

Family: Solanaceae.

Form: Shrub

Origin: Native of central to southern South America.

Flowers/Seedhead: Flowers: In terminal loose clusters. Flower to 3 cm long with 5 lobes. Flowers most of year.

Description: Woody perennial shrub to 3 m high. Leaves lanceolate, to 12 cm long, producing an unpleasant odour when crushed. Fruit (berry) egg-shaped about 1 cm long.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by minute hairs on new shoots and at the leaf-stem junction (axils); yellow to greenish yellow flowers; berries ripening black; seeds dark green or brown, 3–4 mm long. Flowers have an unpleasant odour by day, sweet smelling by night.

Dispersal: Spread by seed which can remain dormant in soil for years. Can be spread by birds excreting seeds, water dispersal, cut root sections and creeping roots.

Stems, leaves & flowers

Notes: Garden escape—still used in some gardens. Shade tolerant and frost hardy. Very toxic to stock but generally not palatable, although reported to be readily eaten and cause poisoning of cattle in some locations. Sometimes confused with Tree Tobacco, Nicotiana glauca, but Nicotiana glauca has capsules for fruit (rather than berries) and larger flowers (2–4 cm long). Other introduced species of Cestrum include Orange Cestrum Cestrum aurantiacum, Red Cestrum Cestrum elegans and Lady of the Night Cestrum nocturnum.


    Flora of NSW. G. Harden (ed), Vol. 3, 1992, page 346. Weeds. B. Auld and R. Medd, 1987, page 224. Noxious Weeds of Australia. W. Parsons and E. Cuthbertson, 1992, pages 593–595.

Narrow, tubed flowers & fruit

Dark green, alternate, narrow leaves

This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card S02

More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.


Australia > > Green Cestrum


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