Cestrum x cultum

Cestrum x cultum

Scientific name: Cestrum x cultum Francey.

Family: Solanaceae

Common name: Purple Cestrum

It's a shrub that offers a very long flowering period, almost all year round. The pink galan is an evergreen, rather woody and fast-growing shrub, reaching up to 3 m in height. The stems are slender and tend to bend under the weight. It belongs to the same genus as the famous lady of the night (Cestrum nocturnum), but the flowers of this one are not scented. It is a hybrid of two species: Cestrum elegans and Cestrum parqui, both native to tropical areas, the former from Mexico and the latter from Central and South America.

The leaves of  Purple Cestrum are lanceolate with an acute apex, between 3 and 8 cm long and the margin is sometimes slightly wavy. At the end of the branches, grouped in inflorescences in panicles, we see the flowers; tubular bell-shaped and pale in colour; pink, purple or purple, sometimes bluish.

This is a very hardy and hardy plant, which can even withstand a few degrees below zero occasionally; it adapts to all types of soil, but care must be taken not to overwater it as the roots may rot. It prefers a sunny situation, if it is in semi-shade it will produce fewer flowers. It can be easily multiplied by cuttings.

The name of this genus comes from the Greek word Kestron, which designated an unknown plant; cultum, the name of the species, means 'cultivated', probably referring to the fact that it is the result of a cross between two others. The use of this Cestrum is ornamental, either on its own, in groups or in pots. Care must be taken not to ingest it, as it is toxic. In La Concepción it grows in front of the old administrator's house.