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Strong-smelling shrub growing up to 2-4 m tall with erect stems that are densely covered with purplish hairs when young. As the plant matures, these become more woody.
Cestrum elegans: Dense clusters of tubular red-purple scentless flowers (15-25 mm long) with petal margins bent backwards from January to December, the flowers on
C. fasciculatum: Deep red flowers appear from August to March. When produced, berries (7-15mm diameter) are dark red.
Produces many long-lived and widely dispersed seeds and forms dense, shady masses. Moderate to highly shade tolerant, and grows in most soil types, damp or dry conditions, and hot or cold temperatures. Forms dense (occasionally pure) stands in forest understorey and shrubland. Prevents the establishment of native plant seedlings. Poisonous berries and rotting vegetation may affect native fauna. Also poisonous to stock, although not palatable.
Hard to distinguish from many native species (apart from foul smell), best controlled when in flower. Wear gloves when handling.