Cestrum

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Cestrum
Ruhr-Uni-Bochum-0024.JPG
Fruit and blossoms of Cestrum tomentosum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Cestrum
L.
Species

Some 150-250, see text

Synonyms

Cestrum is a genus of - depending on authority - 150-250 species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae. They are native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the Americas, from the southernmost United States (Florida, Texas: Day-blooming Cestrum, C. diurnum) south to the Bío-Bío Region in central Chile (Green Cestrum, C. parqui). They are colloquially known as cestrums or jessamines (from "jasmine", due to their fragant flowers).

They are shrubs growing to 1–4 m (3 ft 3 in–13 ft 1 in) tall. Most are evergreen, a few are deciduous. All parts of the plants are toxic, causing severe gastroenteritis if eaten.

Uses and ecology[edit]

Several species are grown as ornamental plants for their strongly scented flowers.

Some are invasive species. Especially notorious is green cestrum (C. parqui) in Australia, where it can cause serious losses to livestock which eat the leaves (particularly of drying broken branches) unaware of their toxicity.[1]

C. laevigatum is employed by wajacas (shamans) of the Craós (Krahós, Krahô) tribe in Brazil. It is used "to see far", i.e. to aid in divination. Like the other hallucinogenic plants consumed by them, Craós wajacas consider it a potent entheogen, not to be taken by the uninitiated.[2]

Cestrum species are used as food by the caterpillars of several Lepidoptera. These include the Glasswing (Greta oto), and Manduca afflicta which possibly[verification needed] feeds only on Day-blooming Cestrum (C. diurnum). It is either known or suspected that such Lepidoptera are able to sequester the toxins from the plant, making them noxious to many predators.

Cestrum species are reported as Piscicidal by Jawale et al. [3][4][5]

Selected species[edit]

Day-blooming Cestrum (C. diurnum), the northernmost species
Green Cestrum (C. parqui), the southernmost species

References[edit]

  1. ^ NWW (2003)
  2. ^ Rodrigues & Carlini (2006)
  3. ^ CS JAWALE, LB DAMA (2010). "Haematological Changes In The Fresh Water Fish, Exposed To Sub-Lethal Concentration Of Piscicidal Compounds From (Fam: Solanaceae)". National Journal of Life Sciences 7 (1): 82–84. 
  4. ^ Chetan Jawale, Rambhau Kirdak, Laxmikant Dama (2010). "Larvicidal activity of Cestrum nocturnum on Aedes aegypti". Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology 5 (1): 39–40. doi:10.3329/bjp.v5i1.4714. 
  5. ^ Jawale C. S., Vinchurkar A. S., Dama L. B., Pawar, (2012). "Cestrum nocturnum (l) a prospective piscicide for control of predatory fish channa punctatus (bloch.).". Trends in Fisheries Research 1 (2): 14–17. 

Footnotes[edit]