Queen Of The Night

South America

General description

Perennial shrub < 2.5 m tall. Leaves are elliptic and < 15 x 6 cm. Flowers are tubular, < 2 cm long, pale green/white, nocturnally fragrant and borne in November – March. Fruit is a glossy white berry < 1 cm in diameter.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell queen of the night. As queen of the night is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant queen of the night within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any queen of the night on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Scrub, riparian and forest margins, gardens, wasteland, sheltered gullies, light gaps, roadsides, coastal cliffs.

Seeds dispersed by birds. Vegetative spread from creeping roots. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste, deliberate plantings.

Forms dense stands, preventing recruitment of native vegetation. Poisonous and may cause hay-fever symptoms.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group. Please report to Auckland Council if seen on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical. Cut stems can resprout.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications
Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel
Ringbark stem and paste with metsulfuron gel

Basic Growsafe certified
Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 1 L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray seedlings with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant

Safety notes

Poisonous to animals.

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

green cestrum
Cestrum parqui

Green cestrum has greenish-yellow flowers and shiny purple berries.

red cestrum
Cestrum elegans/C.fasciculatum

C. elegans has magenta-crimson flowers & crimson berries and C. fasciculatum has scarlet-purple flowers & dark red berries.

Search tags

RPMP status

National Pest Plant Accord Species
Whole region (Sustained Control)
Queen of the night - Main species image