Cestrum fragile Francey

Solanaceae– Tomato Family


– treelet with solitary, distichous, glabrous leaves

– a pair of 5 mm stipule-like bracts at base of each petiole

– cream flowers with narrow tubes

– white teardrop-shaped berries

habit with flower

leaves flower

Description. Treelet, 2-5 m; twigs round, green, sparsely pubescent; leaves solitary, distichous, each with a pair of ear-shaped bracts to 5 mm long that arise just above the petiole, petiole to 3 mm, deeply channeled above with distinct wing-like ridges, blades to 2.5 x 8 cm, lanceolate, acuminate, base slightly cordate to truncate, midvein keeled above, expressed below, lateral veins 8-9, flat to minutely raised above, expressed below, membranous, lamina weakly bullate, pubescence only of sparse minute hairs below, leaves are progressively smaller toward twig tip and becoming bract-like; inflorescence terminal, to 10 cm, green, delicate, but erect; flower 24 mm long, with calyx tubular, 4 mm, including 5 narrow linear 1 mm lobes, sparse pubescent, corolla tube 18 mm, 1 mm diameter at base expanding to 2 mm at level of anthers, yellow green, glabrous, lobes 5 mm, glabrous outside in the central exposed part, the infolded sides with short pubescence, inside glabrous, cream yellow, stamens free for 3 mm, a small tooth at point of insertion, a few minute glandular hairs on the tooth and on the filament track below, middle of tube with sparse long hairs, style 17 mm, minute glandular hairs in distal quarter, pale green, stigma green.

Similar species. Cestrum sp. "San Luis" is a smaller shrub with similarly shaped leaves, but it lacks the small stipule-like bracts of C. fragile.

Local distribution. Pacific slope at 1500-1600 m (leeward cloud forest).

Habitat. Light gaps, stream margins, and along roads in the forest.

Species range. Costa Rica and Nicaragua

Abundance. Uncommon.

Phenology. Flower: may; Fruit: .

Herbivores. Greta anette, Greta polissena (Ithomiinae)

Pollinators. Moths

Seed dispersers. Birds

Comments. Quite distinct from other montane Cestrum spp. because of the distichous leafs and petiole bracts.

Voucher No. Haber 11200

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Images and text copyright © 2001 by William A. Haber, www.cs.umb.edu/efg
Created: 15 May 2001. Updated: 31 October 2001.