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.
Common Name: Angels’ trumpets
Botanical Name: Brugmansia
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.
Sources (“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”): AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY A-Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GARDEN PLANTS; FLORA: A GARDENER’S ENCYCLOPEDIA 2 VOLUME SET; ORNAMENTAL TROPICAL SHRUBS