Green cestrum
Solanaceae - Cestrum parqui

What does it look like?

Green cestrum is a smelly shrub to 1-3 m, with erect stems that become woody as it matures. Hairless, alternate leaves (20-120 x 5-30 mm) and 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, grows in most soil types and hot or cold conditions. Deadly poisonous, not grazed.

Control Methods

Physical control

  • Pull or dig out plants all year round. Dry out and leave to rot.

Herbicide control

  • Cut and stump paint (all year round): cut trunk near to the ground, and swab freshly cut stump with 100ml Tordon BK per 1L water; or 100ml triclopyr (600g/L) per 1L water.
  • Overall spray (spring-summer) with 30 ml triclopyr (600g/L) + 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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