Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Cestrum fasciculatum (Schltdl.) Miers

Frost hardy, strong-growing, evergreen shrub with arching branches, lance-shaped, wavy-margined leaves, to 7cm long, and terminal, pendant cymes, to 8cm long, of tubular, red or purple flowers in spring and summer, followed by purple-red berries.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A very handsome greenhouse shrub [Habrothamnus fasciculatus], which in its native country (Mexico) bears innumerable closely placed heads or clusters of beautiful red flowers, but of which the sample given exhibits only one such head.  This was communicated by Messrs. Lucombe, Pince, and Co., from their Nursery, Exeter; they imported it, I believe, through Belgium.  One has only to look at the figure above quoted in the Hort. Society’s Transactions to see how this plant is capable of improvement, and that figure, done from the native dried specimen, is no exaggeration over nature.  Hartweg describes it as one of the gayest productions of the Mexican Flora.’  [BM t.4183/1845].

‘This beautiful hardy greenhouse plant is a native of mountain sides in Mexico, where it […] formed a shrub of five or six feet high of most surpassing beauty.  It was introduced from its native country to Belgium, by M. Van Houtte, Nurseryman, Ghent, about 1839, and from thence it found its way into the Nursery of Messrs. Lucombe, Pince, and Co., Exeter.  It was also received into the Gardens of the Horticultural Society.’  [MB p.193/1847].  FS p.116/1845.  BR f.43/1844 as Habrothamnus purpureus.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.534/1850].  Obtained from Kew Gardens, brought out from England by Captain P. P. King in 1849.  [ML A1980-3].  Despite it being ‘common or long introduced’ Macarthur sought this plant from a number of sources.  It was included among desiderata in a letter to John Lindley, 15th February, 1848 [A2933-1, p.157] and Kew on 11th February 1848, and marked ‘arrived’ in Macarthur’s copies.  [MP A2933-1, p.165].  In the case of Kew Macarthur had requested ‘any of the fine sp.’ and other Habrothamnus species were sent out at the same time.  It was also listed among desiderata in a letter to James Backhouse dated 10th April 1846 [MP A2933-1, p.136] and to Loddiges’ on 13th February, 1848.  [MP A2933-1, p.172].  Species of Habrothamnus appear to have been received from Loddiges’ as Macarthur wrote in a letter dated 1st February, 1849 ‘the Habrothamnus’s [ … ] multiplied by striking cuttings from them’.  [MP A2933-1, p.185].


Habrothamnus fasciculatus Benth. (1840) = Cestrum hartwegi Dun., another Mexican species.  This is a possible identification.  The plant figured in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine [BM t.4183/1845] as Habrothamnus fasciculatus may be Bentham’s plant.

Published Feb 27, 2010 - 04:37 PM | Last updated Feb 27, 2010 - 04:57 PM

Figured are ovate-lanceolate leaves and terminal cyme of tubular red flowers.  Curtis' Botanical Magazine t.4183, 1845.

Cestrum fasciculatum (Schldl.) Miers | BM t.4183/1845 | BHL

Family Solanaceae
Region of origin


  • Habrothamnus fasciculatus Brongn.
  • Cestrum purpureum Standle.
  • Habrothamnus purpureus Lindl.
  • Habrothamnus elegans Scheidw. ex Walp.
  • Cestrum roseum H.B. & K.
  • Myenia fasciculata Schlecht. 
Common Name

Red Cestrum, Early Jeaasamine

Name in the Camden Park Record

Habrothamnus fascicularis

Confidence level medium