Cestrum aurantiacum ‘Orange Zest’

October 3, 2017 Chelsea Quimby

Orange Jessamine

Botanical Name: Cestrum aurantiacum ‘Orange Zest’

Height: 7′
Width: 4′
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun
Performance: Perennial
Bloom: Orange

It is hard to find a plant better suited for Texas than Cestrum aurantiacum ‘Orange Zest’. Often called Orange Jessamine because its blooms resemble that of jasmine. However, it is actually closely related to brugmansia and a member of the Solanaceae, or nightshade family. Glossy green leaves and inch long tubular, pastel orange flowers distinguish the ‘Orange Zest’ variety. Its fragrant blooms attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. This plant can reach upwards of fifteen feet in milder climates but because of our freezing winters this plant will stay tidier at 7-8 feet in North Texas.

Discovered in Guatemala, this plant has been cultivated since 1844. It was found by G.U. Skinner an Englishman who collected seeds and sent them to the London Horticultural Society. Cestrum ‘Orange Zest’ has been praised for its ability to tolerate heat and drought, which makes it tough enough for our Texas summers. Cestrum aurantiacum also has very few pests making it perfect for the hands free gardener. It is semi-evergreen, often dying to the ground in harsh winters but flushes back full force with warm Spring days. Looking for a plant that has fragrance, pollinator promoter, bright flowers, and low maintenance? Cestrum ‘Orange Zest’ is the plant for you!