Green cestrum
Solanaceae - Cestrum parqui

What does it look like?

Green cestrum is a melly shrub to 1-3 m, with erect stems that become woody as it matures. Hairless, alternate leaves (20-120 x 5-30 mm) are foul-smelling when bruised. Dense panicles of greenish-yellow tubular flowers (15-23 mm long) with petal margins bent backwards and which are fragrant at nighttime, appear from November to June, followed by glossy, purplish black berries (7-10 x 6-8 mm).

Why is it a problem?

Forms dense (occasionally pure) stands in forest understorey, preventing the establishment of native plant seedlings. Poisonous berries and rotting vegetation may affect native fauna.

Produces many long-lived, widely dispersed seeds, and forms dense, shady masses. Prefers damp conditions, is moderate to highly shade tolerant, and grows in most soil types, and hot or cold conditions. Deadly poisonous, not grazed.

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): Tordon Brushkiller (100ml/L) or triclopyr 600 EC (100ml/L) or triclopyr 120g/L (500ml/L).
  • Spray (spring-summer): triclopyr 600 EC (30ml/10L) or triclopyr 120g/L (15ml/L).

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