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Cestrum fasciculatum

Cestrum fasciculatum

Alexis is responsible for today's written part of the entry:

James Gaither (J.G. in S.F.@Flickr) took today's photo at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley. Thank you, James!

Solanaceae, the nightshade or potato family, is a morphologically and chemically diverse family distributed across the globe. Cestrum fasciculatum, just one of the family's 2500 or so species, is also known as early jessamine or red cestrum. This species is only native to southern Mexico though it has been introduced to other countries and is also used as an ornamental plant. This shrub can grow up to 2.5m tall and when young, its flowers and leaves are covered with soft dense hairs; as the plant matures, it becomes more glabrous or smooth. In some regions, Cestrum fasciculatum is considered a weed. Like all Cestrum species, Cestrum fasciculatum is toxic if ingested.


Wow! What pretty red flowers! They remind me more of some Ericaceous shrubs (e.g. Vaccinium spp.) than Solanum spp. So I was glad to read Alexis' comment that the Solanaceae is a morphologically diverse family.

Also, I wonder if those tubular red flowers attract any particular spp. of hummingbirds in southern Mexico??

Is there any special climatic/geographic condition or pollinating agent unique to southern Mexico for this species? Is this an endemic species????

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