Trumpet flower

shutterstock 165357605 FloraQueen EN Trumpet flower

Trumpet flower, also known as “Brugmansia” is a vigorous and super-fast growing shrub. This extravagant, decorative tropical plant blossoms and blooms in the shape of huge, fragrant, and colorful trumpets throughout the summer.

In addition, trumpet flower is part of the shrub genus, “datura.” It is probably the least cultivated of the genus. Besides, this flower is easy to grow and to plant. Vigorous, the trumpet is often grown outdoors in summer and wintered away from the cold in the cooler months.

In this article, we are going to thoroughly learn about the main uses and cultivation of the trumpet flower.

  • Description
  • Different species and varieties
  • Planting trumpet flower
  • Cultivation
  • Use in garden
  • Datura in history
  • Diseases, pests and parasites


Brugmansia sanguinea, the scientific name for this plant, is more commonly known as the angel’s trumpet or judgment trumpet. This plant belongs to the solanaceae family (the same as tomatoes). In fact, you often find this flower growing in a vegetable patch.

On the one hand, the Datura genus of the plant includes more than 12 species. They are annual plants with erect flowers, and they produce a spicy fruit. On the other hand, the genus brugmansia has more than 10 species. They are more shrubby plants with drooping flowers. They produce hairless (smooth) fruit.

Brugmansia has a shrubby form with large semi-persistent, alternate, fluffy, toothed, lobed leaves. The flowers look like dangling orange-yellow trumpets. The trumpet flowers are beautifully scented and fragrant. Trumpet flowering occurs from May to the time of the first frost.

Different Species and Varieties

Out of all species of the genus, you can find four species on the market in many areas as well as many spontaneous or artificial hybrids. These varieties differ according to the colors and flower shapes. Most of them are simple but some are double or triple, with closed corollas. Moreover, they are also distinguished by their adult size.

Among these we can mention medium to small size species such as brugmansia versicolor and brugmensia sanguinea. You can also find large species such as brugmansia suaveolens, brugmansia arborea and some varieties of the hybrid brugmansia x candida. Indeed, these species with vibrant colors give a magnificent and lovely flowering.

Brugmansia is therefore a different genus from Datura. There are five natural hybrid species. Some plants hybridize very easily with each other. For example, you can find brugmansia arborea with open growth and white flowers that are as much as 15 cm long.

Planting Trumpet Flower

You can only cultivate these varieties in the open ground in areas with a fairly mild climate. Indeed, they need good sunshine and must be protected from frost in winter. In this case, choose a sheltered and warm area in a rich soil (or enriched with potting soil) and retaining humidity. The brugmensias don’t like drought.

The plant can also be grown even in regions with a harsh climate in a large pot.  It can be wintered in a veranda or in a dark room (garage, cellar …). The plant should be sheltered from frost only. In this case of cultivation and planting, you should preferably choose a location in partial shade rather than full sun.


The trumpet flower appreciates a rich, deep soil and a warm and sunny exposure, ideally due south. For the flowering to develop abundantly, the soil must still remain cool in summer.

In periods of droughts, the plant temporarily suspends its flower production pending the return of better conditions. Copious watering in the evening and every day in summer in dry weather, are therefore beneficial.

Between May and September, a lot of watering and fertilization are required to ensure flowering. Before frost, the plants should be brought in away from the cold and left to dry. Prune well at the end of winter, before spring resumes.

Fold back and cut short in early spring to boost annual growth. Pot culture is possible, especially in the coldest regions. Then opt for a container 25 to 40 centimeters in diameter that you fill with rich potting soil.

Use in a Garden

The angel’s trumpet is beautifully isolated on a lawn or in front of clumps of shrubs. Though beautiful, there is a deadly part of this plant…be careful and do not let these plants in a garden close to young children.

The brugmansias contain very toxic alkaloids, in particular scopolamine and atropine, two narcotics with hallucinogenic effects. For these same reasons, the plant is also used for pharmacological treatments.

Trumpet Flower in History

For too long, the trumpet flower has been known for its history and was used for diverse medicinal properties. In the Arab-Persian culture, traditional medicine used the spicy fruit of the genus, known as the betel nut. This kind of healing helps to put the mind to sleep.

The trumpet flower has also been a sacred plant in India for a long time. The Hindus also call it the Shiva bush. The plant is used in traditional medicine to treat many diseases.

Since the middle ages in Europe, the trumpet flower was used in pharmacology and in black magic recipes. At that time, it was called the “crazy grass.” Its fruit was also name thorny apple.

On the American continent, the genus Datura took part in religious and magical rituals. (Mexico and North West America). Today, datura seeds are still used in chicha, a drink made from corn, peanuts, or cassava.

Diseases, Pests and Parasites

In the ground, in a suitable location, the brugmansia can resist disease or parasites pretty well. In addition to some attacks by aphids, white flies or red spiders can appear regularly. Trumpet flowers are suitably grown in pots and indoors.

Additionally, lack of water or sun in summer when these plants are dormant can lead to their dieback

Brugmansias are shrub plants of the solanaceae family. The genus brugmansia has long been confused with the genus Datura, of which it was considered a species (Datura arborea). Like the datura, the brugmansia indeed has flowers in the shape of trumpets (hence its colloquial name of angel trumpets). The distinction lies in the fact that datura flowers are erect, while those of the brugmansia are drooping, in bells. In addition, brugmansias are shrubs, while most daturas are herbaceous plants.

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