Cestrum diurnum L., Sp. Pl. 191 (1753)
Species name meaning 'day-time', referring to the flowers fragrance time.
Cestrum album Ferrero ex Dun.
Cestrum diurnum var. fasciatiflorum Dunal
Cestrum diurnum var. fastigiatum (Jacq.) Stehle
Cestrum diurnum var. marcianum Proctor
Cestrum diurnum var. odontospermum (Jacq.) O.E.Schulz
Cestrum diurnum var. portoricense O.E.Schulz
Cestrum diurnum var. tinctorium (Jacq.) M.G¨Žmez
Cestrum diurnum var. venenatum (Mill.) O.E.Schulz
Cestrum elongatum Steud.
Cestrum fastigiatum Jacq.
Cestrum fastigiatum Jan
Cestrum odontospermum Jacq.
Cestrum pallidum Lam.
Cestrum tinctorium Jacq.
Cestrum tinctorium Griseb. [Illegitimate]
Cestrum venenatum Mill.
A lesser known cousin of the more famous night blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum) its
clusters of tubular white flowers have a modest sweet fragrance, a chocolate scent - nothing
like the intoxicating aroma of C. nocturnum, but pleasant. Unlike it cousine, this one
is fragrant during the day. Day jasmine has an upright habit attaining a height of between 1.5 and
3 m tall and 1 m wide. The leaves are dark green and glossy. One inch, tubular, white, fragrant
blooms appear in clusters. The bloom petals are bent backwards. The blooms are mildly fragrant
during the day and the fragrance intensifies in the late evening and after dark. The blooms are
followed by 7 mm green fruits which turn a glossy black or eggplant purple.
It is an erect evergreen woody shrub up to ca. 3 m tall with numerous leafy branches. The branches,
which are green
and with well-marked white lenticels when young, fawn with age. The younger parts are covered with
a very sparse glandular scruf. The leaves are simple, glabrous, entire, alternate, ex-stipulate,
ovate-lanceolate in shape with obtuse apex and obtusely wedge-shaped below. They are dark green
above and pale below and are generally 13 cm long by 3.5 cm wide. The leaves are petiolate with
petioles of 1.2 cm length. The Inflorescence consists of a long axillary peduncle which bears short
clusters of sweet white-smelling flowers, each cluster supported by a leaf-like bract. The
individual flowers are sessile and may be with or without bracteoles. Calyx is gamo-sepalous,
about 3.5 mm long, somewhat puberulent, obtusely 5-ribbed and 5-lobed with obtuse, ciliate lobes.
Corolla tube is narrowly infundibuliform, white, sweet-scented, about a 1.3 cm lobed with five
lobes. The lobes are very obtuse and completely recurved when the flower is fully open. Stamens
oblong, five in number, alternate with the corolla lobes, brown in colour, included. Filaments
adnate to the tube, free for a very short distance. Ovary seated on a nectar-secreting disk. The
style is filiform and glabrous. The stigmas are truncate-capitate. Fruit a black, nearly globular
Flowers produce fragarance during the day. Grows in gardens, roadsides, fencerows, pastures,
vacant lots, and abandoned farmland. The species is particularly associated with pasture
fencerows because its seeds are deposited there by birds. The species may grow as individual
plants or in thickets. It tolerates soils of all textures, apparently from all parent materials,
but is most common in limestone.
Ornamental. Often used for screens and borders. Leaves are reported as sources of vitamin D3.
Aerial parts are also reported to have cytotoxic and thrombolytic activities. The leaves and
fruits are poisonous (affect the nervous system) to humans and other mammals.
Tropical America (West Indies), but now cultivated as an ornamental across the tropics.
English: Day-blooming Cestrum, Day-blooming Jessamine, Day-blooming Jasmine.
India: Din ka Raja (Hindi).