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Brugmansia is a genus of six 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. The genus differs from Datura in being perennial and woody (Datura species are herbaceous), and in having pendulous (not erect) flowers.
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 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.
- Brugmansia arborea. Andes (Ecuador to northern Chile).
- Brugmansia aurea. Andes (Colombia to Ecuador).
- Brugmansia sanguinea. Andes (Colombia to Peru and Bolivia).
- Brugmansia suaveolens. Southeast Brazil west to Bolivia and Peru.
- Brugmansia versicolor. Ecuador.
- Brugmansia vulcanicola. Colombia.
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, B. sanguinea and B. vulcanicola, 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, while B. × insignis is a hybrid between B. suaveolens and B. versicolor. Some cultivars of B. × candida produce white, yellow, pale orange or pink flowers; B. × insignis produces white or peach flowers; B. versicolor flowers start off white and turn salmon pink. 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.
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.
- "American Brugmansia & Datura Society, Inc"
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Brugmansia
- Erowid Brugmansia Vault
- Lockwood, T. E. (1973). Generic recognition of Brugmansia. Bot. Mus. Leafl. 23: 273–283.
- Huxley, A. (1992). The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.
A recently opened Brugmansia flower
- Brugmansia (detail).jpg
Man holding a Brugmansia flower