Cestrum laevigatum

Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Cestrum laevigatum

Alternative common names:

Cestrum (English)


Inkberry is an evergreen shrub or tree growing 1-2m high, but reaching 15m or more along the coastal regions. This poisonous plant has lance-shaped leaves and greenish-yellow, tube-shaped flowers, which appear from October to May.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Brazil, South America

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

CARA Category 1; NEMBA Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and along the Vaal and Orange rivers.

How does it spread?

Seed dispersal.

Why is it a problem?

It is a habitat transformer and competes against indigenous plants. The whole plant is poisonous.

What does it look like?

Evergreen shrub or tree growing 1-2m high, but reaching 15m or more along the coast.
Leaves:Lance-shaped, 150mm long and 50mm wide; releases an unpleasant smell when crushed.
Flowers: Greenish-yellow in axillary clusters. Each flower is tube-shaped with five small petals and appear during summer from October to May.
Fruit/seeds:Green 10mm long berries which turn purple-black.

Does the plant have any uses?

Ornament and hedging.

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