The genus, Brugmansia Pers., was named and described as such by Christiaan Hendrick Persoon in Synopsis Plantarum in 1805.
As of 12-18-21 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 7 species in the Brugmansia genus. It is a member of the plant family Solanaceae with 100 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
Brugmansia… Angel Trumpets… Once you have grown Brugmansia, or maybe even seen one in flower, you get this deep sense of awe. I bought my first Brugmansia from an Ebay seller in the spring of 2009. I think there were six named plants but I don’t remember. The tags were not readable so I am not sure what species they were. I will never forget the evening I went outside and this smell filled the air. It was the Angel Trumpets.
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I had been using The Plant List for research, but I found out that it was no longer being maintained. According to the 2013 version, there were 11 accepted species (plus one accepted infraspecific name), 40 synonyms, and 10 species names that were not resolved.
Wikipedia and Plants of the World Online say there are 7 accepted species of Brugmansia. They include Brugmansia arborea, Brugmansia aurea, Brugmansia insignis, Brugmansia sanguinea, Brugmansia suaveolens, Brugmansia versicolor, and Brugmansia vulcanicola (which was formerly a synonym of Brugmansia sanguinea subsp. vulcanicola). There are two accepted infraspecific names, Brugmansia x candida and Brugmansia x rubella
Carl von Linnaeus included the species of Brugmansia with the genus Datura in 1753, but in 1805, C.H. Persoon transferred them to their own genus. According to Wikipedia, various authors placed them back and forth between the two genera for the next 168 years until T.E. Lockwood made a detailed comparison of morphological differences between the two genera in 1973. They have stayed put since then.
I always thought the easiest was to tell the difference was with their flowers. Brugmansia flowers face downward and Datura flowers face upward.
When I was reading about the Brugmansia on Wikipedia, I ran across some very interesting information. It says, “Several South American cultures have used Brugmansia as a treatment for unruly children, that they might be admonished directly by their ancestors in the spirit world, and thereby become more compliant. Mixed with maize beer and tobacco leaves, it has been used to drug wives and slaves before they were buried alive with their dead lord.”
The Brugmansia in the corner was taller, over 8 feet one year. Once I counted over 100 flowers and buds on this one plant.
I found out, the hard way, that they are slower to come up in the spring than I expected. SO, you need to be patient.
One of them produced a paler yellow flower.
Maybe someday I will live in a climate where I can grow Brugmansia again or build a greenhouse or sunroom. They are truly amazing plants!
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