Saturday, 21 March 2009
The Brugmansia cutting which Lyndi gave me several months back bloomed today. I have not had much luck with getting it to bloom, partly because it is prone to being ravaged by caterpillars. It is also a heavy feeder and requires very moist fertile soil to thrive. Needless to say, copious amounts of water is required especially during the dry season to prevent the plant from looking limp and drying out.
Brugmansia belongs to a genus of six species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae. It is native to subtropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Colombia to northern Chile, and also in southeastern Brazil. They are known as Angel's Trumpets, sharing that name with the closely related genus Datura. Brugmansia differs from Datura in being perennial and woody (Datura species are herbaceous), and in having large dramatic pendulous (not erect) flowers. They come in a range of colours such as white, yellow, pink and orange, and have a delicate, attractive scent with light, lemony overtones, most noticeable in early evening.
However, as attractive as the blooms may be, it should be noted that all parts of Brugmansia plants contain dangerous levels of poison and may be fatal if ingested by humans or animals. It is therefore quite strange that caterpillars seem almost immune to these toxic plants.
Brugs can be cultivated fairly easily from stem cuttings. However, do provide them with lots of water and morning sun during the growing stage.