FAMILY :: SOLANACEAE
All BRUGMANSIA, or “tree datura” or “angels’ trumpets” are tropical trees that will grow well only in Southern and Central coastal California, subtropical areas of the Southwest and Southeast, in greenhouses and in the mild tropics. They are all poisonous and very beautiful and are all, except B. sanguinea, heavily evening scented.
The roots are stronger than the seeds, than the stems, than the leaves, than the flowers. Most varieties have an extensive history of shamanic use in South America. All require a very rich soil and much moisture and are very susceptible to spider mites, white flies, and slugs. There are two general types of Brugmansia. The Andean (B. sanguinea, B. candida, B. aurea) and the lowland tropical (B. suaveolens, B. x-insignis, B. versicolor). The Andean types grow better in areas of less summer heat (partially shade B. sanguinea), and the lowland tropical varieties are less tolerant of chill. Most bloom as very young plants.
- BRUGMANSIA AUREA: A white-flowered version of this species from the Sibundoy Valley in Colombia. Very fragrant.
- BRUGMANSIA CANDIDA x: Hybrid with double white 6-8″ long flowers. Slightly hairy leaves. Thrives in areas of warm days and cool nights, growing naturally in South America at altitudes between 4000-7000′.
- ‘CHARLES GRIMALDI': Tall, fast growing tree to about 20′. Very large (to 10″) salmon colored flowers.
- CULEBRA (Methysticodendron amesianum): Perhaps the rarest of all Brugmansias. Supposedly the strongest used by the shamans of the Sibundoy Valley in Colombia. Has very narrow, long leaves and distorted white flowers. Believed to be a mutation of Brugmansia aurea.
- ‘ECUADOR PINK': Long 8-10″ unique, satin-pink trumpets on a quickly growing tree.
- ‘FORESTVILLE DOUBLE': Elongated trumpet within a trumpet flowers to 12″ long. Large, fast growing tree that blooms well when young.
- ‘HAWAIIAN DOUBLE': Elongated trumpet within a trumpet flowers over 12″ long. Young blooming on a slow-growing, compact tree. Likes strong light and blooms when young.
- ‘INSIGNIS x ORANGE': Orange medium sized (6″ to 8″) trumpets in large quantity on a medium sized tree, tending to produce multiple trunks. The only Brugmansia listed here that is heavily scented in the daytime as well as in the evening. Also blooms well (perhaps the best) in winter.
- ‘INSIGNIS x PINK': Salmon/pink bells of medium size (8″) on a medium sized tree.
- ‘JAMAICAN YELLOW': A very large quantity of yellow 8-10″ trumpets on a vigorous, rapidly growing tree.
- BRUGMANSIA SANGUINEA: Perhaps the hardiest Brugmansia (…not saying that much; it still can’t handle any freezing) listed here. Large yellow bells with red flares. Grow in part shade in summer. The only Brugmansia listed that is unscented. Native to the highlands of Colombia and Ecuador. Not found in lower or middle elevations.
- BRUGMANSIA SUAVEOLENS: Large white, heavily scented trumpets on a medium sized tree. Grows naturally in the Northern Andes below 3000′ elevation.
- ‘SUNRAY': Highly scented, lemon yellow 12″ blooms.
- BRUGMANSIA VERSICOLOR: The 6-8″ flowers on this medium-sized tree first open near white, then change to an apricot/peach. Blooms well in pots.
- BRUGMANSIA VERSICOLOR ‘Alba': An albino version of the previous with extra long (to 15″) white flowers.