Scientific Name: Cestrum nocturnum
Synonym: Cestrum parqui auct. non L'Hér.
Common Names: Night-blooming Jasmine, Night Jessamine, Night Cestrum, Night Jasmine, Night-scented Jessamine, Night-flowering Cestrum, Queen of the Night, Lady of the Night
Duration: Perennial, Evergreen
Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub
Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental and scent garden plant is native to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Flower Color: Light green, Cream to greenish white, Pale greenish yellow
Height: To 13 feet (4 m) tall, but usually less
Description: The flowers open in the evening and are slender, tubular, 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and have 5 triangular lobes. The flowers are followed by rounded white berries. The leaves are glossy, dark green, alternate, petiolate, and oblong-ovate to oblong-lanceolate in shape with a pointed tip. The branches are often curved and bending.
Here in Hawaii, these shade-tolerant plants are extremely weedy and invasive in moist to mesic (moderately wet) forests and disturbed areas and can form dense thickets. Fruit-eating birds are responsible for spreading the seeds.
Butterfly Plant – The flowers attract large hummingbird moths.
Fragrant – The nocturnal flowers are powerfully fragrant at night, and their wonderful, intoxicating, candy-sweet fragrance can even be enjoyed a fair distance from the plants. Night-blooming Jasmine is one of the most fragrant wild plants here in Hawaii.
Poisonous – The entire plant and especially the berries are poisonous to humans and other mammals, but birds do eat the fruit.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Solanaceae – Potato family
Genus: Cestrum L. – jessamine
Species: Cestrum nocturnum L. – night jessamine
More About This Plant