The lady of the night is an evergreen shrub with numerous tubular flowers, frequent in the genus cestrum. These flowers of cream colour are extremely fragrant overnight.
It seems it was always in the Iberian Peninsula, perfuming the Andalusian nights, yet is a plant native to America. The scientific expeditions organized by the European monarchies during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries recorded and collected a large number of new species in its overseas territories, its colonies in Asia, Africa or America. Many of these species were successfully transplanted and acclimated in spaces intended for that purpose, botanical gardens, founded by the same colonial states that had financed the naturalist expeditions of its domains. In the case of Spain, during this period live plants and seeds of over 700 American species were sent, which has been primarily documented in the records of ships that are conserved in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville.
The result of the attempts of acclimation of American plants in Spain and elsewhere in Europe, has been the integration of a number of species that once were exotic to the European agriculture and gardening. Regarding Spain, it can be argued that, at least in the parks and gardens of Sevilla, 20% of ornamental species are of American origin. Among them, the lady of the night.