Queen of the night
Solanaceae - Cestrum nocturnum
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What does it look like?

Queen of the night can invade disturbed and open forest, forest margins, secondary forest, streamsides, and shrublands. It prefers damp sites.

Reaching up to 2.5 m in height, the species has oval leaves that are 5-15 cm long and 1-2 cm wide. It has an unpleasant smell when crushed. In summer it produces bunches of greenish-white flowers that release a strong, fragrant scent at night.  Glossy white berries that are 5-10mm in diameter follow the flowers.

 

Why is it a problem?

Queen of the Night produces seeds that can remain dormant in the soil for many years. It is also a fragment-spreader, meaning that it is able to reproduce from creeping roots and stem fragments.

Due to a preference of damp and shady conditions and the ability to grow well in most soils, this species does well in native forest, eventually out-competing native species. It is also poisonous to animals, though not palatable.

 

Control Methods

Hard to distinguish from many native species (apart from foul smell), so best controlled when in flower. Wear gloves when handling.

Options:

  1. Pull out small plants (all year round), leave on site to rot down.
  2. Cut down and paint stump (all year round): Tordon Brushkiller (100ml/L) or triclopyr 600 EC (100ml/L) or triclopyr 120g/L (500ml/L).
  3. Spray (spring-summer): triclopyr 600 EC (30ml/10L) or triclopyr 120g/L (15ml/L).

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