Few garden plants have blooms to rival the foot-long trumpets of Brugmansia. The huge, pendulous blooms are not only an eye-catcher, but they are also fragrant at night. The plants grow quickly into a large shrub or small tree, up to 15 feet or more. Flowers appear in masses every few weeks from spring through fall, between periods of rest. There are countless hybrids and color variations, and flowers may be single, double, or triple-petaled. Some cultivars have blooms up to 20 inches long.
Flowers of some varieties change color as the blooms mature, and there may also be some color shift from the heat of the summer to cooler fall days.
Brugmansias are native to Central and South America, and there are several closely related species that all share similar characteristics. It is recommended for USDA Zones 9-12, surviving as a perennial in Zones 8B to 9B. In the colder areas, Brugmansia will freeze to the ground during a hard winter, but growth returns so fast that in a few months you will be unable to tell there was any damage. In cold climates, Brugmansia can be grown in containers. Here are some flowering in 10 inch pots.
Brugmansias bloom best in full sun but the large leaves transpire moisture quickly, so plants in the warmer zones often benefit from some afternoon shade.
All parts of the plant are narcotic and poisonous. The name Angel Trumpet refers to both the shape of the bloom and the hallucinogenic effects from ingesting the plant.