Cestrum lanceleaf
SolanaceaePotato Family


  - leaf lanceolate, rounded base, glabrous, sprialed
  - cream-green to purplish tubular flowers
  - shiny purple-black fruit with angular seeds

Description: Treelet, 3-5 m; stem gray brown, without lenticels; leaves spiraled, solitary, petiole to 12-15 mm, shallowly grooved, blade to 5 x 12 cm, glabrous, lanceolate to elliptic, tip gradually narrowed, acute, base rounded, slightly unequal, midvein keeled above, lateral veins 8-12, flat to impressed above, weakly expressed below, leathery to fleshy; inflorescence axillary, 5-25 mm, often branching near base, peduncle 2-10 mm, green to maroon; flowers with pedicel 0-1 mm, bracts 3 mm, linear, calyx tube 2.5 mm, 5-lobed, lobes short triangular, glabrous outside, pubescent inside and along distal margins, corolla with tube 13-18 mm, pink-white to maroon, glabrous, lobes 5 (4-6), 4-5 mm long, densely puberulent outside, glabrous inside, pink shaded with pink maroon in center, stamen filaments free, 2-2.5 mm, not toothed, glabrous at insertion and at base of tube, ovary and nectar disk pale green, style 16 mm, puberulent in distal 1/4, stigma capitate (lozenge shaped), strong odor at night; fruit 5-9 mm wide x 7-12 mm long, elliptic to obovate, smooth and shiny, green to dark red to maroon to purple-black when mature, calyx with lobes splitting and recurving, pedicel 3-5 mm, 1-7 seeds; seed dark brown, angular .

Similar species
Cestrum irazuense
Cestrum nuboso
Cestrum megalophyllum

Local distribution: Pacific slope at 1200 to 1500 m, premontane wet forest and generally not in cloud forest.

Species range: Costa Rica

Habitat: Common in light gaps, forest edge and partly shaded pastures.

Greta polissena

Phenology: Flower: dec-jan, feb. Fruit: feb-apr.

Pollinators: Moths

Seed dispersers: Birds

Comments: Flowering occurs in short synchronized bursts lasting just a week or two.

Credits: Images and text copyright 2002-2006 by William A. Haber, http://efg.cs.umb.edu/