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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Angel Trumpet femme fatale

Angel’s Trumpet-Official name of genus is now Brugmansia. Many SoCal gardens have them as the flower is beautiful and night-scented. First saw them in the Getty Gardens, trimmed to a parasol shape, dripping with flowers, looking like they belonged in a  Rousseau painting  (Le Douanier.)  Enchanted, secured one for the garden. Discovered over time the way to achieve the parasol effect with lots of pendant blossoms was to prune the sucker heavily, as it blooms on new wood. Such a pretty plant.

(photo from W commons)
Always knew the plant was toxic—it is a member of the solanum family, (Deadly Nightshade, tomatoes and potatoes.) The  closest relative is loco-weed, Datura. But a lot of wonderful plants are toxic; say oleander. Never personally held toxic quality  against the Angel’s Trumpet.
However,according to the what's left of the L.A. Times, the  latest teenage turn-on in South L.A. is the Brugmania flower which ingested, is hallucinogenic. (Social Notes From All Over Dept.) The police in L.A. would like you to get rid of the plant if you have one flowering in your garden.

Haven’t had any trouble with drug-crazed teenagers harvesting my flowers, but was bemused to find the name Angel’s Trumpets might signify  the crack of doom summoning you to the next world……

The Reader is warned.

See W for chapter and verse on varieties, more pictures, directions for cultivation if you are a drug-crazed teenager or,equally crazed, an obsessed gardener.

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