Green Cestrum is toxic to animals

Green cestrum is a weed and highly toxic

WARNING: Green cestrum frequently causes ‘sudden death’ in livestock and is highly toxic to all animal species and humans.

Signs of poisoning include:

  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • depression
  • disorientation
  • walking with a stagger
  • irritability
  • weakness
  • going off their feed
  • lying on the ground
  • and finally a period of coma or terminal convulsions.

Green cestrum is a vigorous plant that can out-compete other vegetation. Green cestrum is toxic to animals including cattle, sheep, horses, pigs, poultry and humans.

This weed is a priority weed under the Biosecurity Act in the Central West region.

Green cestrum is poisonous to animalsCharacteristics of green cestrum

Green cestrum seeds germinate mainly in autumn with young plants taking two or more years to flower and set seed. Mature plants will flower and seed each year. Seeds from these plants can remain dormant in the soil for many years.

It is spread most commonly in droppings from birds that have eaten the berries. Green cestrum is a common weed on vacant allotments, roadsides, river and creek banks or riparian areas.

The characteristics of green cestrum are:

  • erect, perennial shrub up to 3m high
  • leaves are alternate, up to 12cm long and 2.5cm wide, and have an unpleasant odour when crushed
  • greenish-yellow flowers grow in clusters at the ends of branches are trumpet shaped and up to 2.5cm long
  • flowers produce an unpleasant perfume during the day but can smell quite sweet in the evening
  • clusters of shiny, black, egg-shaped berries 7-10mm long are produced during summer and autumn.

How to control green cestrum

General information on control methods can be found in the most recent edition of the annual NSW Weed Control Handbook.

For more information please contact your local council weeds officer.

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