November 24th, 2002
Brugmansia and Datura

Book Review: Brugmansia and Datura: Angel’s Trumpets and Thorn Apples. Ulrike and Hans-Georg Preissel. 2002. Firefly Books. Canada.
Originally published in Germany: Engelstrompeten–Brugmansia und Datura.
ISBN: 1-55209-598-3

Angel trumpets is a common name applied to plants both in the genus Brugmansia and the genus Datura. Although they have been recognized as different types of plants for over 100 years, and officially recognized as two separate genuses since 1973, the confusion continues.

Brugmansia and Datura: Angel’s Trumpets and Thorn Apples attempts to explain away the confusion through many botanical drawings comparing the many species of Brugmansia and Datura, as well as many full-color photographs. Although the photos are “coffee table book” pretty, this book is packed with useful and specific information. It is not, however, dry or academic. In addition to being an excellent resource on the different types of angel’s trumpets and thorn apples, the authors provide information on cultivating and propagating these plants.

These beautiful plants have a fascinating history in the magic and religions of our ancestors, but one must be aware that they are deadly poisonous. These are not plants to grow around small curious children, or livestock. The simple datura, which you can buy in local nurseries is a noxious weed to farmers and ranchers.

According to the authors, Brugmansia requires heavy and frequent feeding in order to bloom well.

Propagating by cuttings

Many species of Brugmansia will also root in water. Take cuttings about 6 in (15 cm) long and put in a glass with pure faucet water. It is important that only the lower 1 1/2 in (2-4 cm) of the stalk is allowed to stand in the water. If the water is higher, then it will encourage the cutting to rot from the bottom up. (p. 73)

by M Sinclair Stevens

6 Responses to post “Brugmansia and Datura”

  1. From Theresa:

    I just bought a Brumansia plant; it did not have a lot of information on the box. I live in Canada in Zone 6. Could I leave this plant outside in it’s pot or bring it in the garage over winter. Also how big does it get? And when will it bloom? And what should I feed it? Any information would be appreciated.

    Theresa, you should definitely bring your Brugmansia inside during the winter. They are very cold sensitive and even a light frost can kill them. (As usual, I didn’t follow my own advice and lost mine last winter.) Brugmansia can get huge for a potted plant. Even in a greenhouse they can be 15 feet tall and just as wide. They like lots of sunlight, warmth, water, and feeding in order bloom. Any food you use on your other flowering plants will do fine. — mss

  2. From Trina Ledford:

    I have an angel trumpet and I wanted to grow more, but I just wanted to use my own plant. Can you tell me how to root it.

    I root mine in water. Here are some other methods detailed with pictures at Brugmansia Growers International. — mss

  3. From Tonessa:

    Ooops. I left my Brug out and it was hit by a sudden frost (a drop in temperature by 20 degrees). Some of the leaves wilted but there are some which are still living and thriving. I have now moved it into warmer temperatures (and wouldn’t you know it, the temperature has boosted back 25 degrees!. Will it survive?

    Probably–if the trunk and roots didn’t freeze. — mss

  4. From Mary McFadden -Toronto canada.:

    I live in Canada. I have white datura that seed themselves every year in the garden. Last year I bought brugs that came from Holland. This year they are very big but still no sign of flower buds (Aug 9/08)? I have been feeding them regularly, and they are outside for the summer. I think I read at one point that brugs started from seed could take 3 yrs to flower, and others started from the mother plant flower the first year? Has anyone any info on this? I would appreciate any words of wisdom. Thanks!

  5. From sera - port Colborne:

    I live in zone 6a and have a beautiful brug which i planted directly in the ground of my sunny perrenial garden. it has thrived and I would hate for it to succumb to frost.
    Should I dig it up and pot it, bringing it indoors for the winter?
    If not, what should I do to enusre it survives? (ie. protective mulching or burlap wraps)

    please help!

    I don’t live in a cold climate so I’m not the best person to ask for advice on this problem. But if your ground freezes, I suggest you dig up the brugmansia and put it in a large pot. They are extremely sensitive to frost. — mss

  6. From grace mississauga:

    I grow pink,white and golden brugs. So far only pinks are blooming. My golden bloomed in the fall till Christmas in the house.