Walk by an angel’s trumpet plant–Brugmansia suaveolens–on a warm night, and you are sure to smell the intoxicating fragrance. According to the USDA plant profile, the angel’s trumpet is a perennial tree or shrub in the potato family. Ethno-botanists recognize the angel’s trumpet’s usefulness as a medicinal plant to tribes of South America. All parts of the Angels Trumpet are poisonous and hallucinogenic. Consumption of the angel’s trumpet plant–by eating or smoking–may lead to death.
The angel’s trumpet owes its name to the fact that its flowers are shaped like a trumpet and hang upside down. Flowers of the angel’s trumpet plant are extremely fragrant and can be up to 15 inches in length. Depending on the specific variety, flowers may be various colors including peach, red, pink and white. The angel’s trumpet plant should be pruned regularly to produce more flowers.
The leaves are generally oval in shape and dark green. When grown in the shade, leaves can exceed six inches in width and 10 inches in length. Fertilize with nitrogen in the spring and summer to give the leaves a boost for extra growth.
Occasionally you may spot an angel’s trumpet with two or three trunks that are twisted together. This is actually two or three separate plants that have been trained.
The branches of an angel’s trumpet plant are soft, which aids in propagation by taking cuttings. Cuttings should be dipped in rooting hormone and placed in a growing medium immediately. You should see roots within a few weeks.
The angel’s trumpet produces football-shaped seedpod that is smooth on the surface. Many gardeners propagate this plant from seed due to high germination rate and fast growth. The seedpod is filled with a toxic liquid and care should be taken to see that your skin does not contact the liquid.