Beware of Green Cestrum

22 February 2023

Beware of Green Cestrum  - Post Image

Landholders across Coonamble, Gilgandra and Warren Shires are encouraged to be on the lookout for Green Cestrum (Cestrum parqui). 

Green Cestrum is medium-sized perennial shrub growing to 2-3m. It usually has many light green brittle stems. The shiny green leaves are pointed at each end and produce a pungent, foul smell when crushed. It grows in sub tropical and warm-temperature regions. It is commonly found along waterways. 

Green Cestrum flowers from late spring to autumn. Flowers are normally yellow but may a green tinge. They grow in clusters at the end of branches and produce an unpleasant perfume during the day but can smell quite sweet in the evening.

This weed produces clusters of shiny, black, egg-shaped berries approximately 7-10mm long between summer and autumn. 

Green Cestrum is poisonous to people, pets, livestock and native animals. All parts of the plants, in particular the berries are very toxic if eaten. It causes liver poisoning and can be fatal. 

It causes sudden death in livestock, animals that have eaten the weed may die in a few hours or be sick for a few days before they die. Signs of poisoning include; stomach pain, disorientation, walking with a stagger, irritability, weakness, not eating, laying on the ground, coma or convulsions following by death.

Cattle are most affected, but deaths have also occurred in goats, sheep, horses, pigs and poultry.

It is important to note that recently sprayed, wilting plants are more palatable to animals than healthy plants and can potentially cause more deaths.

If you suspect or identify Green Cestrum please contact your local Biosecuity Weeds Officer on 0428 462 060 for formal identification and discuss appropriate control methods.

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