Night Blooming Jasmine Tree
Cestrum nocturnum – Night-Blooming Jasmine
Other Common Names: Night Jessamine, Night Jasmine, Night-scented Jessamine, Lady of the Night, Night-flowering Cestrum, Queen of the Night, Night Cestrum
Cestrum nocturnum is an evergreen woody shrub that is related to the nightshade. It belongs to the Solanaceae family and is also known as night blooming cestrum, lady of the night, queen of the night, night-blooming jessamine, or night-blooming jasmine.
This shrub can grow up to 4 meters or 13 feet tall, but they are usually shorter. It has leaves that are glossy and lanceolate, which means that they are shaped like a lance or spear. The leaves are usually 6 to 20 centimeters or 2.4 to 7.9 inches long and 2 to 4.5 centimeters or 0.79 to 1.77 inches broad.
The flowers of the night-blooming jasmine are tubular, narrow, and greenish white, which only open at night, hence the name. There are also varieties which produce light green and pale greenish yellow flowers. Moths and butterflies often get attracted to the flowers because of the strong, sweet fragrance that they produce. The wonderful, yet intoxicating fragrance of the flowers can even be smelled at a distance, making the plant very distinct.
Rounded white or aubergine-colored berries follow the flowers of the night-blooming jasmine. The fruits are usually 10 millimeters or 0.39 inches long and 5 millimeters or 0.20 inches in diameter. There are reports regarding the toxicity of the fruit, so it should be handled with caution. Like other members of the Solanaceae family, it may contain solanine, which is an alkaloid toxin that can cause respiratory problems and feverish symptoms.
The night-blooming jasmine is considered to be very invasive and is even considered as a weed in some countries. That is because they are very easy to grow and care for, especially in warm climates.