Cestrum elegans
Common Name: purple cestrum 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Solanaceae
Native Range: Mexico
Zone: 8 to 11
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Red to violet
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Tolerate: Dry Soil


Easily grown in average, medium to dry moisture, well-draining soils in full sun to part shade. Can tolerate occasional dry soil conditions. Add organic matter to loosen heavier soils. Fast growth rate. Best flowering with regular moisture during hot, dry weather and plenty of fertilizer during growing periods. Hardy from Zones 8-11. Depending on the climatic conditions, this plant can be grown as an evergreen shrub, deciduous shrub, a more tender, semi-woody perennial, or an annual.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Cestrum elegans, commonly called purple cestrum, is a climbing shrub-like perennial native to southern Mexico. Its arching stems are covered in fine, dense hairs, and can reach 6-10' in height with an equal spread. Leaves are elliptic in shape, with a pointed end and fine hairs along the margins. The red to violet tubular flowers (1.5" long) form in terminal clusters and are attractive to hummingbirds. Blooms are nearly continuous in warmer climates, though the peak is in spring and summer. The flowers are followed by red berries. This plant has been known to escape cultivation where hardy, and in some areas has become a pest species in forest margins and disturbed sites.

Genus name is from the Greek name for the plant.

The specific epithet elegans means elegant.


No major pest or disease problems reported.


This plant has a tendency to overtake a garden area if given good growing conditions and not properly managed. Can be trained to climb an arbor or trellis. Heavy pruning is recommended for smaller garden areas and more formal landscapes. Where not hardy, use as an annual in a bird garden or to add tropical interest to a mixed border.