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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 14 | Solanaceae

8. Cestrum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 191. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 88. 1754.

Jessamine [Etymology uncertain, perhaps Greek kestra, a kind of hammer, alluding to corolla shape]

Alexandre K. Monro

Shrubs, trees, or lianas, glabrous or pubescent, hairs simple or branched. Stems erect or lax, sparsely branched from base. Leaves alternate. Inflorescences axillary (sometimes clustered in leaf axils, often bracteate or bracteolate) [terminal], paniculate [racemose]. Flowers 5-merous, radially symmetric to slightly bilateral; calyx campanulate or tubular, lobes 3–5, acute to linear (equal or unequal), expanding slightly in fruit; corolla white, pale yellow, pale green, or yellow-green, [red, pink, or orange], radial, tubular (tube frequently expanded around anthers), lobes 4 or 5, deltate to acute; stamens equal or subequal, inserted at varying levels in corolla tube, filaments frequently pubescent, frequently with an appendage at point of fusion to corolla; anthers dorsifixed, oblong to ellipsoid, dehiscing by longitudinal slits; ovary 2-carpellate (2- or 4-locular); style slender, usually surpassing stamens; stigma entire or 2-lobed, rarely exserted. Fruits berries, often juicy, globose, ovoid, or oblong. Seeds oblong to angulate. x = 8.

Species ca. 175 (3 in the flora): introduced; Mexico, Central America, South America, West Indies (Greater Antilles).

Some species of Cestrum are cultivated as ornamentals in warmer parts of the United States. Three are established in the flora area, and C. aurantiacum Lindley and C. fasciculatum (Schlechtendal) Miers may become established; they are shrubs or trees (to 4–5 m) and have brightly colored corollas (orange in C. aurantiacum and pink or red in C. fasciculatum). Berries of C. aurantiacum are white; those of C. fasciculatum are red. Cestrum fasciculatum may also be known as C. elegans Francey, an illegitimate homonym.

SELECTED REFERENCE Francey, P. 1935. Monographie du genre Cestrum L. Candollea 6: 46–398.

1 Axillary branches not subtended by minor leaves; berries ripening white   2 Cestrum nocturnum
+ Axillary branches usually subtended by 1–3 minor leaves; berries ripening dark purple or black.   (2)
2 (1) Calyces 3–4 mm, lobes 0.5–0.8 mm; corollas 11–16 mm, lobes 1.7–2.3 mm   1 Cestrum diurnum
+ Calyces 4.5–5.5 mm, lobes 1.2–1.5 mm; corollas 18–22 mm, lobes 4–4.5 mm   3 Cestrum parqui

Lower Taxa


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