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Title: Cestrum  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Solanaceae, Cestrum elegans, Cestroideae, WikiProject Academic Journals/Journals cited by Wikipedia/T19, Jessamine
Collection: Cestroideae, Solanaceae Genera
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Fruit and blossoms of Cestrum tomentosum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Cestrum

Some 150-250, see text


Cestrum is a genus of - depending on authority - 150-250 species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae. They are native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the Americas, from the southernmost United States (Florida, Texas: day-blooming cestrum, C. diurnum) south to the Bío-Bío Region in central Chile (green cestrum, C. parqui). They are colloquially known as cestrums or jessamines (from "jasmine", due to their fragant flowers).

They are shrubs growing to 1–4 m (3 ft 3 in–13 ft 1 in) tall. Most are evergreen; a few are deciduous. All parts of the plants are toxic, causing severe gastroenteritis if eaten.


  • Uses and ecology 1
  • Selected species 2
  • References 3
  • Further reading 4

Uses and ecology

Several species are grown as ornamental plants for their strongly scented flowers. Some are invasive species. Especially notorious is green cestrum (C. parqui) in Australia, where it can cause serious losses to livestock which eat the leaves (particularly of drying broken branches) unaware of their toxicity.[1]

C. laevigatum is employed by wajacas (shamans) of the Craós (Krahós, Krahô) tribe in Brazil. It is used "to see far", i.e. to aid in divination. Like the other hallucinogenic plants consumed by them, Craós wajacas consider it a potent entheogen, not to be taken by the uninitiated.[2]

Cestrum species are used as food by the caterpillars of several Lepidoptera species. These include the glasswing (Greta oto), the Antillean clearwing (Greta diaphanus)[3] and Manduca afflicta, which possibly feeds only on day-blooming cestrum. It is either known or suspected that such Lepidoptera are able to sequester the toxins from the plant, making them noxious to many predators.

Cestrum species are reported as piscicidal.[4][5][6]

Selected species

Day-blooming cestrum (C. diurnum), the northernmost species
Green cestrum (C. parqui), the southernmost species


  1. ^ North West Weeds (2003): Green cestrum. Version of 2003-APR-15. Retrieved 2007-NOV-14.
  2. ^ Rodrigues, Eliana; Carlini, E.A. (2006). "Plants with possible psychoactive effects used by the Krahô Indians, Brazil" (PDF). Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria 28 (4): 277–282.  
  3. ^ A. Sourakov, T. C. Emmel (1995). "Life history of Greta diaphana from the Dominican Republic (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)" (PDF). Tropical Lepidoptera 6 (2): 155–157. 
  4. ^ CS JAWALE, LB DAMA (2010). "Haematological Changes In The Fresh Water Fish, Exposed To Sub-Lethal Concentration Of Piscicidal Compounds From (Fam: Solanaceae)" (PDF). National Journal of Life Sciences 7 (1): 82–84. 
  5. ^ Chetan Jawale, Rambhau Kirdak, Laxmikant Dama (2010). "Larvicidal activity of Cestrum nocturnum on Aedes aegypti". Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology 5 (1): 39–40.  
  6. ^ Jawale C. S., DamaL. B., Pawar Kishor, Dama S.B. and Shaikh Yasmeen (2012). (Bloch.). TrendsFisheries Res. 1(1): 14-17.Channa punctatus (L) A Prospective Piscicide for Control of Predatory Fish Cestrum nocturnum

Further reading

  • Diario de plantas (2007): Cestrum parqui. Version of 2007-APR-20. Retrieved 2007-NOV-14.
  • Hanelt, Peter & Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (eds.) (2001): Cestrum. In: Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops (Except Ornamentals). Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York. ISBN 3-540-41017-1
  • Huxley, A. (ed.) (1992): New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.
  • Reiche, Karl Friedrich (1910): 10. Cestrum L.. In: Estudios criticos sobre la Flora de Chile 5: 372-373. PDF
  • Ulloa Ulloa, Carmen & Jørgensen, Peter Møller (1993): Cestrum. In: Árboles y arbustos de los Andes del Ecuador. Aarhus University Press. ISBN 87-87600-39-0
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (2007a): Germplasm Resources Information Network - Cestrum. Retrieved 2007-NOV-14.
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (2007b): CestrumUSDA Plants Profile: . Retrieved 2007-NOV-14.
  • Jawale C.S., Dama L.B. (2010). (Herbst)(Coleoptera- Tenebrionidae).Tribolium castaneumand Tribolium confusum sp. (Solanaceae:Solanales) against CestrumInsecticidal potential of Deccan Curr. Sci. 3(2): 155-161.
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