Red Cestrum
Solanaceae - Cestrum elegans and Cestrum fasciculatum

What does it look like?

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.

Cestrum fasciculatum: Deep red flowers appear from August to March. When berries are produced, they are 7-15mm diameter and are dark red.

Why is it a problem?

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.



Control Methods

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

Physical control

  • Pull out small plants (all year round), leave on site to rot down.

Herbicide control

  • Cut down and paint stump (all year round): 100ml Tordon Brushkiller per 1L water or 100ml triclopyr (600g/l) per 1L water.
  • Spray (spring-summer): 150ml triclopyr (600g/l) +penetrant per 10L water or 5g metsulfruon-methyl + penetrant per 10L water.

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide, PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed. 

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