The Brugmansia Tree

Overview

Brugmansia trees, also referred to as angel's trumpet trees, were previously known as datura trees. No matter the name, these small trees make a strong visual impact in the home garden with interesting foliage and flowers. Brugmansia's features makes it a well-suited addition to the home garden.

Foliage and Form

Brugmansias are small trees that grow to a height of 8 to 14 feet with a width of 10 to 15 feet, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. The evergreen foliage displays a dense growth habit. Simple green leaves display a visual impact with their lengths of 4 to 8 inches and abundant growth. Brugmansia trees grow symmetrically in a vase-like form. This type of tree is widely planted as a solitary plant in the home landscape or as a border plant.

Flowers

Prized for their interesting flower habit, brugmansia trees display blossoms that reflect their other moniker of angel's trumpet trees. Trumpet-like flared flowers hang straight toward the ground from branches. Available in pink, yellow or white hues, the flowers bloom in summer, spring and fall and emit an attractive fragrance, according to the University of Florida IFAS extension. Blooms grow to a length of up to 12 inches.

Culture

Brugmansia's cultural requirements include exposure to partial sun or partial shade. Greater sun exposure produces more successful flower production, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Thriving in dry climates, these flowering trees prefer well-drained, moist soil, rich in organic matter, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. However, brugmansia tolerates different soil types including loam, clay and sand. Tolerances also include as a wide range of soil pH levels from slightly alkaline to acid.

Care

Extra care will provide your brugmansia with the attention it needs for vivid blooms and steady growth. Depending on personal preference, the brugmansia tree can droop or may be influenced into an upright habit. For more erect growth, prune the tree to remove the lowest branches, advises the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Drooping trees display low-hanging flowers while upright trees display blossoms at a higher eye level. Additionally, add a layer of mulch to the soil surrounding your tree for increased water retention.

Toxicity

Parts of the brugmansia tree are used as foods and spices. Certain medicinal products also come from the brugmansia tree. However, practice caution when growing this tree in the home garden as brugmansia trees are also known for their toxicity. This tree belongs to the Solanacaea family; certain plants in this family contain a substance called an alkaloid that is highly poisonous to humans as well as animals, cautions the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Keywords: brugmansia tree flowers, brugmansia tree foliage, angel's trumpet trees

About this Author

Tarah Damask's writing career, beginning in 2003, includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum, and articles for eHow. She has a love for words and is an avid observer. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.