Brugmansia: Angel’s trumpets

Family: Solanaceae
Common name: Angel’s trumpets

Angel’s trumpets are beautiful ornamental plants that can adorn a corner of your garden where pets or small children cannot reach it, since all parts of the plant are toxic. Brugmansia is a genus of 7 flowering plants, all of them characterized by the beautiful, translucent, trumpet-like, droopy flowers.

Angel’s trumpets plants can reach a height of 35 feet with large green leaves having wavy edges. They are hardly seen in the wild now, since the species that used to disperse the seeds is now extinct. But they are cultivated in public gardens and parks quite extensively as ornamental plants.

Angel’s trumpets flowers are 15-20 inches long with prominent cup-like sepals, and long tubular flowers in shades of white, green red, yellow, pink, orange and red. A plant in full bloom looks very beautiful with numerous hanging trumpets surrounding it.

Angel’s trumpets flowers exude a heady fragrance at night to attract pollinating insects and moths. Humming birds are also known to pollinate some species of these plants.

Angel’s trumpets plants have several alkaloids that can cause hallucinations, confusion, paralysis, heart rhythm disorders etc. All parts of the plant are toxic, and should be handled with a lot of care. You should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling the plant, since exposure to eyes, nose or mouth can cause adverse reactions.

There has been many instances of accidental consumption causing severe reactions that took hours to subside. In spite of this, Angel’s trumpets plants have many uses in tradition herbal medicine in treatment of wounds, skin diseases, stomach ailments; and is also used as a sedative.

But these are not scientifically proven; and no attempts should be made to self-medicate as the toxicity of the plant can cause severe side effects.

Propagation is from stem cuttings, with good success rate.

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