Cestrum irazuense Kuntze

Solanaceae– Tomato Family

habit with flower


– treelet with glabrous, narrow elliptic leaves

– bulbous twig expansions next to petiole

– tubuler, lavender-blue flowers

– small white berries
leaf underside

Description. Treelet, reproductive at 1.5-3 m; twigs smooth, pale brown with few lenticels, glabrous, petiole insertion with a pair of distinct bulb-shaped appendages; leaves solitary, petioles to 2 cm, U-shaped, with a shallow channel, blades to 4.5 x 13 cm, elliptic, acute, base obtuse, margin unevenly undulate, midvein strongly keeled above, expressed below, lateral veins 5-6, basal pair strongly ascending, middle two pairs minutely keeled above, those at base and apex flat, blade glabrous, soft and somewhat fleshy; inflorescence axillary to distal leaves and terminal, 1-3 cm, glabrous, green, appearing racemose or with very short lateral branches, bearing 3-10 flowers, the leaves diminishing in size to bracts near inflorescence apex; flowers with pedicel 1 mm, distinct and uniform, calyx 3.5-4 mm, including 5 short triangular lobes about 0.8 mm, glabrous or with sparse scale-like hairs at apex of lobes inside, corolla tube 18-20 mm, pale purple white, glabrous, lobes 5, 4-4.5 mm, slightly recurved at anthesis, lavender purple, often darker in center of each lobe, outside glabrous in center, margins pappilose, not infolded, glabrous inside, stamens 5, filaments free for 4.5-5.5 mm, a small tooth less than 1 mm above insertion, the tooth pubescent, filament tracks sparse pubescent from insertion to corolla base, ovary globose, apex feintly 4-lobed, pale green, translucent yellow nectar disk at base, style 17-19 mm, white, short pubescent in distal 1/5, mild sweet fragrance; fruit a small spongy, white berry.

Similar species. Very similar to three other Cestrum spp. at Monteverde. These as yet unidentified species have cream-white, green-white, or purple-green (not blue) flowers.

Local distribution. High peaks and ridges from 1550 to 1800 m (Cerro Amigos, Cerro Chomogo, Cerro Sin Nombre, La Ventana, Brillante Trail, Reserva Santa Elena).

Habitat. Open understory, light gaps, forest edge, and sunny trails in forest.

Species range. Costa Rica

Abundance. Uncommon

Phenology. Flower: mar-may; Fruit: .

Herbivores. Greta anette, Greta polissena (Ithomiinae)

Pollinators. Moths

Seed dispersers. Birds


Voucher No. Haber 11468

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