Crimson cestrum

Crimson cestrum

Cestrum elegans

Common Name:

Crimson cestrum

Scientific Name:

Cestrum elegans

Alternative common names:

Karmosynsentrum (Afrikaans), Elegant poison-berry, Purple cestrum, Red cestrum


Crimson cestrum invades disturbed rainforest margins, moist and wet sclerophyll forests, urban bush land and creek banks. In these situations in takes over and displacesindigenous shrubs and smalltreesand restricts thehabitatof native wildlife. 

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?


What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape

How does it spread?

By birds and water

Why is it a problem?

It is a special weed that is competitive, poisonous and transformers. These plants invade forest margins, savanna, grassland, rivers, plantations and coastal dunes.

What does it look like?

Leaves: Light green, ovate-lanceolate, up to 120 mm, evergreen

Flowers: Crimsom, reddish-purple or pink, tubular, 20-25 mm long, in axillary and terminal, nodding

Fruit/seeds: Small red, globose, sponge berries

Does the plant have any uses?

Ornament, hedging

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