Cestrum elegans

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Cestrum elegans (Brongn. ex Neumann) Schltdl.

Solanaceae

Life form: shrub
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun - Exposure: half shade   9

Moisture: moderately moist

Soil: sandy loam

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: evergreen

Shape: ovate

Division: simple

Shape: tubular
Fruit: berry

40C / e7422b 

Inflorescence: cyme

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Lamiidae
Superordo:
Solananae
Ordo:
Solanales

Cestrum elegans, commonly known as Red Cestrum, is a tree cultivated for its showy red flowers.

Naming

Cestrum elegans was already described and the name validly published by Joseph Henri François Neumann, based on a prior description by Adolphe Théodore de Brongniart. It was not until 1847, however, that Diederich Franz Leonhard von Schlechtendal reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics.

Taxonomy

The Red Cestrum is a species in the genus Cestrum which contains approximately 246 to 306 species and belongs to the family of the Solanaceae (Nightshade Family). The type species of the genus is Cestrum nocturnum.

Characteristics

Growth

The trees grow to a height of approximately 3 meters and have a compact habit with only a few branches.

Leaves

Cestrum elegans is an evergreen plant with simple leaves. The leaves are arranged opposite one another. They are mid green and ovate with entire margins. The petioles are about one centimetre long, the leaves up to eight centimetres.

inflorescence
Cestrum elegans - flowers
flowers and fruits

Flowers and Fruit

The flowers are tubular and red. The plants bloom from April to September. The flowers are arranged in axial or terminal cymes.

The fruits are red berries.

Distribution

Cestrum elegans is native to Mexico.

Cultivation

The shrubs prefer a sunny to half-shady situation on moderately moist soil. The substrate should be sandy loam. They tolerate temperatures down to -7°C (USDA zone 9).

Uses

The spectacular flowers and evergreen leaves make Red Cestrum well suited as potted plants, for hanging baskets and for cool conservatories.

regular pruning promotes new flowers

Maintenance and Propagation

Water freely during the growth period and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a week. The soil should always be moist but never waterlogged.

Fro overwintering put the plants in a cool (10°C) and bright spot. Do not fertilize and keep the soil drier but do not let dry out. C. elegans can may also spend the winter months in the dark. It will then shed its leaves but will make new ones in spring. When the plants are moved outside (around mid May) they should be put in the shade for a few days to so the foliage won't get sunburnt.

Pruning back in spring keeps the plants compact and promotes flowering.

Propagate by taking cuttings in summer.

Poisonousness

All parts of the plant are toxic!

Aeskulap  Please read the health issues note

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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