Friday, July 8, 2011

A Pretty Amazing Plant

Summer blooms on my Brugmansia
When I lived on Long Island my family had a group of plants that grew in pots on our deck. Back then I knew them as Datura but somewhere along the line their name was changed to Brugmansia or Angel's Trumpet. When my family moved to Northern Virginia we left the Brug's on Long Island. You see each plant was probably 8 feet tall and extremely heavy. They survived until winter that year and I figured I would never see them again.

When I got married and moved to North Carolina, practically everyone had them growing in their landscape. Little did I know that the Angel's Trumpet is a relatively hardy plant in the south. I had to get me some.

One of my customers at the Farmer's Market gave me some branches from her plant and told me that they would root in water. I kept two branches going the whole winter in a cool back room. The roots grew. And when it was time to plant in the late spring, in the ground they went. That was 2 years ago. The first year both plants grew and bloomed. I was amazed. They were beautiful. And had the most heavenly night time fragrance. INTOXICATING!! Somewhere between Honeysuckle and Bubble Gum! Then came winter. The winter in North Carolina was long and cold. I did not given them much hope.

Early morning buds still closed
Spring arrived and to my surprise shoots appeared. They seemed to grow overnight. Both plants are about 5 feet tall and filled with blooms. The bud start out in a cream yellow color turning to a pinkish salmon. And each blossom is huge. Measuring 8" long and 6" wide. The bees love them.

Brugmansia's are native to Central and South America and are related to the Datura species. 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.


Brugmansia are easy to grow in pots if your winters are cold. Be sure to let them overwinter inside. They also like some sun but I have read they will also do well summering outside in the shade.
Amazingly Pretty

Brugmansia are a real conversation piece that are easy to grow. If you are considering a Brug please check out
Gardens by Kasha

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