Weed Alert – Be on the Lookout for Red Cestrum
The highly invasive toxic plant Red Cestrum (Cestrum elegans) – reports of cattle dying after ingesting it.
Red Cestrum is a medium sized woody shrub growing to four metres which forms dense thickets, displacing native species. Red Cestrum can also readily invade high value agricultural land with graziers known to lock off prime paddocks in fear of Cestrum poisoning. Red Cestrum is a unique species as it is highly adaptable to all conditions and performs well in high altitude cool climates. It is part of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family which is known to have toxic properties.
Red Cestrum has hairy ovate leaves with red to purple hairs along the stems and develops clusters of red tubular flowers in late winter to spring. Fruits are produced in late spring to summer forming clusters of red berries. Seeds can stay viable for up to 8 years and can be spread by birds, flood waters and by leaving cut branches piled on the ground where it can easily take root.
If you or anyone you know suspects you have seen this plant please contact Rous County Council on (02) 6623 3800
Cut and paint large shrubs with 1:1 Glyphosate + 1g metsulfuron methyl / L water or foliar spray seedlings < 20cm high 1:50 Glyphosate https://www.bellingen.nsw.gov.au/news/weed-alert-be-lookout-red-cestrum