Cestrum album Ferrero ex Dun.
Cestrum elongatum Steud.
Cestrum fastigiatum Jacq.
Cestrum odontospermum Jacq.
Cestrum pallidum Lam.
Cestrum tinctorium Jacq.
Cestrum venenatum Mill.
Common Name: Inkbush
Cestrum diurnum is a single or multistemmed evergreen shrub with an upright habit; it sometimes becomes a small tree but usually does not exceed 4.5 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use to make an ink. It is often grown as an ornamental, especially in the Americas.
The fruits are poisonous, affecting the nervous system of humans and other mammals[
The leaves contain a calcinogenic glycoside called 1,25- dihydroxycholecalciferol that leads to a vitamin D toxicity that results in elevated serum calcium and deposition of calcium in soft tissues. Around 15 - 30% of the leaves in an animal’s diet is sufficient to cause symptoms[
Southern N. America - central and southern Mexico, southern Florida; Caribbean - Cuba to Trinidad and Tobago
Open places and disturbed soils in places such as roadsides, fencerows, pastures, vacant lots, and
abandoned farmland, and also as a weed in gardens[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Cestrum diurnum will grow in areas receiving from about 800 - 3,000mm of annual precipitation, but it most aggressively colonizes areas that receive from about 1,400 - 2,400mm[
The plant requires a sunny position - it is intolerant of much shade and generally dies out if overtopped by trees[
tolerates soils of all textures, apparently from all parent materials, but is most common in limestone areas. It does not prosper on exposed subsoil nor will it grow on swampy ground. The plant is salt tolerant if not exposed to heavy salt spray or overwash from storms[
Often grown as an ornamental, especially in the Americas, the plant has escaped from cultivation in at least Florida, southern Texas, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa[
]. The plant is an opportunist species that invades disturbed areas and, being shade-intolerant, quickly completes its life cycle ahead of any encroaching forest. is particularly associated with pasture fencerows because its seeds are deposited there by birds[
The plant can flower and produce fruit all year round[
The flowers have a pleasant, sweet fragrance with a scent somewhat like chocolate[
Fairly fast-growing when young, though plants are generally short-lived, usually dying after about 5 - 20 years[
The fruits contain a purple juice that can be used for ink[
Seed - when sown fresh, the seed will usually germinate within 7 - 30 days[
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