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Brugmansia is a genus of seven species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae, native to subtropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Colombia to northern Chile, and also in southeastern Brazil. They are known as Angel's Trumpets, sharing that name with the closely related genus Datura. Brugmansia are long-lived, woody trees or bushes, with pendulous, not erect, flowers, that have no spines on their fruit. Datura species are herbaceous bushes with erect (not pendulous) flowers, and most have spines on their fruit. [1]

  • Brugmansia arborea. Andes (Ecuador to northern Chile).
  • Brugmansia aurea. Andes (Colombia to Ecuador).
  • Brugmansia insignis[1]. Lower mountain zone of Eastern Peru.
  • Brugmansia sanguinea. Andes (Colombia to Peru and Bolivia).
  • Brugmansia suaveolens. Southeast Brazil west to Bolivia and Peru.
  • Brugmansia versicolor. Ecuador.
  • Brugmansia vulcanicola. Andes (Colombia to Ecuador).

These species are divided into two natural, genetically isolated groups.[2] Brugmansia section Brugmansia includes the species aurea, insignis, sauveolens, and versicolor; and is causually referred to as the warm-growing group. B. section Sphaerocarpium includes the species arborea, sanguinea, and vulcanicola; and is casually referred to as the cold-growing group.


Brugmansia are large shrubs or small trees, reaching heights of 3–11 m, with tan, slightly rough bark.

The leaves are alternate, generally large, 10–30 cm long and 4–18 cm broad, with an entire or coarsely toothed margin, and are covered with fine hairs.

The name Angel's Trumpet refers to the large, very dramatic, pendulous trumpet-shaped flowers, 14–50 cm to 20 inches long and 10–35 cm across at the wide end. They are white, yellow, pink, orange or red, and have a delicate, attractive scent with light, lemony overtones, most noticeable in early evening. Flowers may be single or double.


All parts of Brugmansia plants contain dangerous levels of poison and may be fatal if ingested by humans or animals, including livestock and pets. Contact with the eyes can cause pupil diliation (mydriasis) or unequal pupil size (anisocoria).[3] Some municipalities prohibit the purchase, sale, or cultivation of Brugmansia plants.[1]


Brugmansia are easily grown in a moist, fertile, well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade, in frost-free climates. They begin to flower in mid to late spring in warm climates and continue into the fall, often continuing as late as early winter in warm conditions. In cool winters, outdoor plants need protection, but the roots are hardy and will resprout in April or May. The species from the higher elevations, in B. section Sphaerocarpium, prefer moderate temperatures and cool nights, and may not flower if temperatures are very hot. Most Brugmansias may be propagated easily by rooting 10–20 cm cuttings taken from the end of a branch during the summer.

Several hybrids and numerous cultivars have been developed for use as ornamental plants. B. × candida is a hybrid between B. aurea and B. versicolor; B. × flava is a hybrid between B. arborea and B. sanguinea; and B. × cubensis[4] is a hybrid between B. suaveolens, B. versicolor, and B. aurea. There are cultivars producing double flowers, and some with variegated leaves.


As with Datura, all parts of Brugmansia are highly toxic. The plants are sometimes ingested for recreational or shamanic intoxication as the plant contains the tropane alkaloids scopolamine and atropine; however because the potency of the toxic compounds in the plant is variable, the degree of intoxication is unpredictable and can be fatal.

Ritualized Brugmansia consumption is an important aspect of the shamanic complexes noted among many Indigenous peoples of western Amazonia, such as the Jivaroan speaking peoples. Likewise, it is a central component in the cosmology and shamanic practices of the Urarina peoples of Loreto, Peru.[5]

Plant registration

ABADS (American Brugmansia & Datura Society, Inc.), is designated in the 2004 edition of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants [the 2004 Code] as the official International Cultivar Registration Authority [ICRA] for Brugmansia and Datura (Solanaceae). This role was delegated to ABADS by the International Society for Horticultural Science [ISHS] in 2002.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Preissel, Ulrike; Hans-Georg Preissel (2002). Brugmansia and Datura: Angel's Trumpets and Thorn Apples. Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books. pp. 106–129. ISBN 1-55209-598-3. 
  2. Shaw, Julian M. H. (1999) Nomenclature Notes on Brugmansia. The New Plantsmen, 6(3): 148-151
  3. van der Donck, I.; Mulliez, E.; Blanckaert, J. (2004), "Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia arborea) and mydriasis in a child - A case report", Bulletin de la Societe Belge d'Ophtalmologie 292: 53–56, 
  4. Shaw, Julian M. H. (1999) Nomenclature Notes on Brugmansia. The New Plantsmen, 6(3): 148-151
  5. Dean, Bartholomew 2009 Urarina Society, Cosmology, and History in Peruvian Amazonia, Gainesville: University Press of Florida ISBN 978-081303378 [1]

Further reading

  • Lockwood, T. E. (1973). Generic recognition of Brugmansia. Bot. Mus. Leafl. 23: 273–283.
  • Hayman, J. (1985). Datura Poisoning – The Angel's Trumpet. Pathology. 17: 465-466.
  • Huxley, A. (1992). The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.
  • Gottschalk, Monika (2000). Engelstrompeten (German with English translation booklet). BLV Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Brugmansia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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