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Cestrum elegans is a graceful, scrambling shrub with a long flowering season. It is an evergreen plant with soft hairy leaves in warm temperate conditions. The leaves have a distasteful smell while the flowers are sweetly scented. The flowers are held in terminal clusters and vary from purple-red to deep pink. Each 2cm long flower is tubular, swelling to a constricted mouth and five reflexed lobes. It is drought tolerant and pollinated by hummingbirds.
Cestrum elegans is now well established in several warm temperate countries where it has become listed as an invasive alien.
Cestrum is a member of the Solanaceae, with 175 species; most of them are poisonous with strong alkaloids. Almost all grow in the warm temperate to tropical regions of the Americas, from Florida to central Chile. A few, such as Cestrum parqui and Cestrum psittacinum from more temperate areas, will grow in sheltered borders in the milder areas of Britain.