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Purple Cestrum

Cestrum elegans

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Purple Cestrum (Cestrum elegans) at Roger's Gardens

Purple Cestrum flowers

Purple Cestrum flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  8a

Other Names:  Red Cestrum, Jessamine


This stunning climbing shrub produces showy masses of red to violet tubular flowers over a long period followed by interesting red berries; plant in sheltered area of the garden or along borders; may re-sprout from roots after a hard freeze;

Ornamental Features

Purple Cestrum features showy clusters of red tubular flowers with violet overtones at the ends of the branches from mid spring to early fall. It has bluish-green evergreen foliage which emerges green in spring. The pointy leaves remain bluish-green throughout the winter. It produces red berries from late summer to mid fall.

Landscape Attributes

Purple Cestrum is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a shapely form and gracefully arching branches. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. It is a good choice for attracting birds, bees and butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Invasive

Purple Cestrum is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Purple Cestrum will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Garden 
Flowers  Fruit  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features