28 Cestrum nocturnumCommon Names: night blooming jasmine, night jessamine, night-blooming cestrum Family: Solanaceae (nightshade Family)
This sprawling shrub has glossy, smooth, simple leaves 4-8 in (10-20 cm) long. The long vinelike stems can form a mound up to 12 ft (3.6 m) across, but it seldom gets more than a 4 ft (1.2 m) across in cultivation. Night blooming jessamine blooms periodically throughout warm weather. Little greenish white tubular flowers rise from above the leaves all along the stem, followed by shiny white, fleshy berries. Although the flowers are not particularly showy to the eye, their sweet scent is heavenly.
Cestrum nocturnum is native to tropical America and the West Indies.
CultureNight blooming jessamine grows best in light, sandy soil. It is not salt tolerant, but is otherwise adaptable to a variety of conditions and usually requires little care except for frost protection Light: For best performance, night blooming jessamine should be grown in full to filtered sun. It tolerates light shade, but blooms best in good sun. Moisture: Provide average to moist soil, but don't let it get waterlogged. Hardiness: USDA Zones 8 - 11. Night blooming jessamine will die to the ground after a freeze, but it comes back in spring in zones 8 and 9. The day blooming jessamine (Cestrum diurnum) is slightly hardier. Propagation: Night blooming jessamine is very easy to start from young, fast growing stem cuttings.
This is a popular landscape plant in warm climates. For a mixed border, background, or as a free standing specimen, night blooming jessamine is attractive and unpretentious. Use it in butterfly gardens, as night blooming jessamine provides food for some caterpillars.
This shrub really makes itself noticed in the evenings when in bloom. No fragrance garden should be without a night blooming jessamine! The smell is so strong, some people find it overpowering. Not me! I have one that reaches up in front of the deck and fills the summer evening air with sweet perfume.
Steve Christman 05/31/97; updated 05/15/06, 12/16/07