Queen of the night
Solanaceae - Cestrum nocturnum

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 when crushed), 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.

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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