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Cestrum parqui L'Hérit.

Modern name

Cestrum parqui (Lam.) L'Hér.

A deciduous shrub 6 to 10 ft high, with quite glabrous young shoots and leaves. Leaves lanceolate to oval-lanceolate, pointed, tapered about equally at both ends or more abruptly towards the base, entire; 112 to 5 in. long, 34 to 2 in. wide; green on both sides; stalk up to 12 in. long. Flowers yellowish green, produced during June and July in a terminal cluster augmented by axillary ones, making altogether a panicle 4 to 6 in. long and slightly downy. Calyx tubular, 316 in. long, downy, toothed, the teeth tipped with down. Corolla-tube 78 in. long, slender, dividing at the top into five oblong spreading lobes that are downy behind and give the flower a diameter of nearly 12 in. Fruit egg-shaped, violet-brown, 38 in. long, the base cupped in the calyx. It is probably poisonous. Bot. Mag., t. 1770.

Native of Chile; introduced in 1787. The plant figured in the Botanical Magazine flowered at Holland House, Kensington, about 1810. The flowers are not very pretty, but they are fragrant at night. The plant itself when touched has a rather heavy odour, like that of the haulm of garden peas. It is not fully hardy near London but will grow in a sunny sheltered nook of a building, especially if covered with a mat in very severe weather. Even if cut down to the ground it will usually break into growth again. The leaves are poisonous to cattle.



Other species in the genus