Description: Woody shrubs or small trees, glabrous, or hairy with simple, forked or dendritic hairs.
Leaves mostly alternate, sometimes paired, simple, margins entire, petiolate.
Inflorescences axillary or terminal, usually racemes or panicles. Flowers bisexual, sometimes slightly zygomorphic, often subtended by a small bract. Calyx tubular, 5–7-lobed. Corolla tubular, variously coloured; tube often slightly inflated towards limb; limb shortly 5–7-lobed. Stamens 5, equal or subequal, variously inserted on corolla tube; anthers 2-locular, versatile, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary 2-locular.
Fruit a succulent berry.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 250 species, tropical Central & South America. Australia: 4 species (naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., Vic.
Text by B. J. Conn
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Flowers reddish; plants softly hairy; mature berry red||Cestrum elegans|
|Flowers orange to greenish yellow; new growth sparsely hairy or glabrescent; mature berry white or black||2|
|2||Corolla orange yellow; leaves elliptic to broad-elliptic to ovate; mature berry white||Cestrum aurantiacum|
|Corolla greenish yellow; leaves narrow-elliptic to lanceolate; mature berry black or white|
Back to 1
|3||Corolla tube 2–3 mm wide at apex; filaments with an erect process; mature berry white||Cestrum nocturnum|
|Corolla tube 3–5 mm wide at apex; filaments without an erect process; mature berry black|
Back to 2