Scientific name:Cestrum laevigatum
Alternative common names:
Inkberry is an evergreen shrub or tree growing 1-2m high, but reaching 15m or more along the coastal regions. This poisonous plant has lance-shaped leaves and greenish-yellow, tube-shaped flowers, which appear from October to May.
Where does this species come from?Brazil, South America
What is its invasive status in South Africa?CARA Category 1; NEMBA Category 1b
Where in South Africa is it a problem?Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and along the Vaal and Orange rivers.
How does it spread?Seed dispersal.
Why is it a problem?It is a habitat transformer and competes against indigenous plants. The whole plant is poisonous.
What does it look like?Evergreen shrub or tree growing 1-2m high, but reaching 15m or more along the coast. Leaves:Lance-shaped, 150mm long and 50mm wide; releases an unpleasant smell when crushed. Flowers: Greenish-yellow in axillary clusters. Each flower is tube-shaped with five small petals and appear during summer from October to May. Fruit/seeds:Green 10mm long berries which turn purple-black.
Does the plant have any uses?Ornament and hedging.
Plant me instead alternatives
Hazel pomaderris (Pomaderris aspera), Escalonia, Azalea.