Inkberry

Cestrum laevigatum

Common name:

Inkberry

Scientific name:

Cestrum laevigatum

Alternative common names:

Cestrum (English)

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.

Additional Info

  • 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.