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Orange Cestrum Cestrum aurantiacum

Phonetic Spelling
SES-trum aw-ran-ty-IH-kum
Description

Orange Cestrum is a tropical shrub or vine native to North and South America.  In its native habitat it may reach 15 feet tall but in cooler climates where it freezes back to the ground, it will grow to a height and width of about 5 feet.  The top of the plant is hardy to zone 8 but it is root hardy to zone 7 making it a good option in many southern gardens.  In the late spring through early fall it is covered with large tubular orange flowers. 

Plant it in the full sun though it does well with some afternoon shade, in average well-drained soil.  When the plant dies back in the fall cut the stems back and apply mulch to protect the crown.

It espaliers well, is deer resistant,  and is a great plant for Xeriscape gardens as it is quite drought tolerant.  Plant it in the back of a border, in a nighttime garden near a patio so you can enjoy the sweet-spicy citrus fragrance of the flowers.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Greystone Gold'
    hybrid from NC's Norman Beal
  • 'Orange Peel'
    Hybrid
  • 'Orange Zest'
    Long bloom, orange flowers
'Greystone Gold', 'Orange Peel', 'Orange Zest'
Tags:
#deciduous#fragrant flowers#semi-evergreen#wildlife plant#deciduous shrub#orange flowers#tubular flowers#espalier#white berries#summer flowers#deer resistant#nighttime garden#large flowers#late spring flowers#evergreen shrub#nectar plant summer#nectar plant spring#border back#white fruits#flowering vine#evergreen vine
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Greystone Gold'
    hybrid from NC's Norman Beal
  • 'Orange Peel'
    Hybrid
  • 'Orange Zest'
    Long bloom, orange flowers
'Greystone Gold', 'Orange Peel', 'Orange Zest'
Tags:
#deciduous#fragrant flowers#semi-evergreen#wildlife plant#deciduous shrub#orange flowers#tubular flowers#espalier#white berries#summer flowers#deer resistant#nighttime garden#large flowers#late spring flowers#evergreen shrub#nectar plant summer#nectar plant spring#border back#white fruits#flowering vine#evergreen vine
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cestrum
    Species:
    aurantiacum
    Family:
    Solanaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico, South America
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Fragrance
    Screening
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 5 ft. 0 in. - 16 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gray/Silver
    White
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Gray/white berries appear in summer but are unusual in non-tropical climates.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Late spring or summer, 4 in. clusters of brilliant orange or yellow tubular or trumpet 5 petaled 1 in. long flowers. The blooms are night-scented, having a citrus aroma.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Oval to lance shaped entire margin shiny light green leaves up to 6 in. long. When crushed leaves are said to smell like wet dog.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Vertical Spaces
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer