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Plant Profile: Angels’ Trumpets (Brugmansia suaveolens aka Datura suaveolens)

brugmansia-suaveolens-yelAlso called angel’s tears this tender perennial is a semi woody shrub or small tree with a many branched single trunk and a member of the nightshade family, (Solnoaceae) that includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. Like nightshade, it is poisonous with the leaves and seeds being especially toxic. The plant is native to the coastal rainforests of Brazil where it grows along river banks and forest edges. The oval leaves are up to ten inches long and six inches wide. The fragrant flowers are usually white but may be yellow or pink and are produced in profusion. They are trumpet shaped, nine to thirteen inches long, and pendulous to horizontal. Because they are pollinated by moths, they fully open in the evening and are partially close during the day. The plants make eye catching specimens and can be grown in containers and taken indoors during the cold months.

Type: Tender shrub or small tree

Bloom: White, pink, or yellow pendulous, fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers up to thirteen inches long in summer

Size: 10-12’ H (5-6’ H in container) x 10-12’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained; wilts easily in heat

Hardiness: Zones 10-11

Care: Water heavily during growing season but keep container grown plants bone dry in winter; fertilize during bloom season.

Pests and Diseases: Nematodes, spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, white flies, caterpillars

Propagation: Seed, stem cuttings during the growing season