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cestrumCestrum species

Common name: Cestrum species
Botanical name: Cestrum spp.
Management programme: Advisory

Originally from Chile and Peru and was introduced to New Zealand as an ornamental garden plant.

Why is it a pest?

  • Cestrum forms dense mats in the under story, it shades out other vegetation and is extremely toxic to farm animals and grazers.
  • They produce many, long-lived, widely dispersed seeds.
  • Tolerant of frost.

Where is it found?

It is found in scattered small sites in the Bay of Plenty.

It usually can be found in disturbed and open forest margins, stream sides, shrublands, and dry gullies. Cestrum can be spread by birds or fragment movement in water, contaminated soil, or dumped vegetation. Seed can remain dormant for many years.

What does it look like?

  • An upright thicket-forming shrub up to 3m tall.
  • Leaves are simple, entire, and strong smelling when crushed.
  • Flowers are hairy, tubular, orange, crimson, or greenish-white and occur in clusters.
  • The fruit is a glossy berry, white, crimson, or purplish-black.

What are the rules?


The Bay of Plenty Regional Council does not enforce the control of advisory species. It is landowner/occupier responsibility to manage these pests. Council may provide advice on how to manage or control these species if required.

How do you get rid of it?

Cestrum is best controlled when it is in flower as it can be hard to distinguish from some native species.


  1. Pull or dig out small plants (all year round)
  2. Stump treatment (all year around) with picloram and triclopyr or triclopyr 600
  3. Spray (in spring to summer) with triclopyr 600

Follow up control of resprouting stems and seedlings emerging will be required every 6 months.


CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide, PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and directions for the purchase, use and storage of the product, are followed and adhered to.

Read more on pest control advice, information and regulations.