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Last Update 06/03/08

Plant of the Month

Brugmansia hybrid

 Angels' trumpets

Brugmansia is named after Sebald Justin Brugmans 1763-1819. The genus Brugmansia belongs to the nightshade, Solanaceae family which includes tomatoes, potatoes, tobacco, many kinds of peppers, eggplant, and also includes Datura, petunia, nicotiana, solanum, physalis (Chinese lantern) and other ornamentals. Brugmansia is native to South America, particularly the Andes, where they grow on sloping terrain under damp conditions.

These striking plants produce flowers that perfume the night air with their exotic fragrance. All parts of Brugmansia are toxic when ingested. Pre-teens and teenagers in Florida have been made extremely sick by eating parts of the plant, making tea from the flowers, ingesting seeds and smoking the dried leaves in search of a "legal high". Once tried, few will attempt it again and warn their friends to stay away from it. Symptoms of Brugmansia poisoning include:  Hallucinations, dry mouth, muscle weakness, increased blood pressure and pulse, fever, dilated pupils, and paralysis. Toxic Principles of the plant are: Atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine.

Brugmansia hybrid, Click to Enlarge

Brugmansia hybrid, Click to Enlarge Image

Angels' trumpets Flowers, Click to Enlarge

Angels' trumpets Flowers, Click to Enlarge Image

Brugmansia Alba flower close-up

Brugmansia Alba, Click to Enlarge Image

Brugmansia Alba Form

Brugmansia Alba, Click to Enlarge Image

Plant Facts:

Common Name:   Angels' trumpets

Botanical Name:   Brugmansia

Family:  Solanaceae

Plant Type:  Large evergreen shrub

Origin: South America

Zones: 10 - 11

Height:  to 20' -- to 15' wide

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: Low

Soil Requirements:  Rich and moist soil

Water Requirements: Requires regular watering

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Partial shade in a location sheltered from wind

Form:  Multi-stemmed, large shrub with broad canopy

Leaves:  8" or more long, light green

Flowers: Trumpet-like 8" or more long, fragrant at night, colors vary from white to pink, salmon, peach, and yellow depending on variety


Pests or diseases:  Spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs, tomato hornworms, nematodes, various viruses

Uses:  Specimen, tree, container plant, shrub border. A magnificent plant when in bloom.

Bad Habits: Foliage damaged by frost, but recovers rapidly. Neighborhood teens and pre-teens may be tempted to experiment with ingestion of plant parts in search of a "legal high". Kids, leave the plant alone, you will get deathly ill before you get high from this plant, it is not worth the experiment.

Cost:  $$ -- Very reasonable

Propagation:  Seeds  and cuttings. Seeds may not bloom flowers true to the parent plant, cuttings are more reliable.

Source: Ornamental Tropical Shrubs, A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Flora: A Gardener's Encyclopedia


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