Is the Angels Trumpet a dangerous plant?

@JudyEv (103662)
Bunbury, Australia
August 31, 2016 3:20am CST
A member, Betty Belekis (@BettyB) posted a beautiful photo of the flower on her angel's trumpet. The Latin name for this plant is Brugmansia and there are seven species. These woody trees or shrubs have attractive, pendulous flowers that have a pleasant fragrance. However, all parts of the plant can be toxic. At our local writing group, we were spoken to once by a local author who had written about the dangers of this plant. She was desperately trying to get them banned from sale altogether. For years she had slept in a room, mostly with the window open and with an angel's trumpet planted outside the window. She had suffered significant health issues for many years. These subsided once she became aware of the possible negative effects of the plant. I can still remember how fervent she was in her wish to convey to us the dangers of the plant. The government website, Queensland Health, has this to say about the toxicity of this plant: “All parts of the plant are toxic. Symptoms may include intense thirst, difficulty with speech and swallowing, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, dilated pupils, seizures and coma. Deaths have occurred. The perfume can cause respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea, and light-headedness. Eye contact with the sap may cause dilated pupils and temporary blindness.” Yet, on a healing essence website, they are selling this stuff. The description is suitably airy-fairy including: 'especially helpful for those in transition, those resisting letting go of material attachments, or those engaged in the literal dying process'. A good topic for another post would be the jargon used on these types of websites. It's worse than that used on wine labels. Here's some more phrases from the site: surrender inwardly..truly opened to joy…subtle insights and messages… integration and wholeness, etc, etc. Maybe some species are more toxic than others. Does anyone have anything to contribute on this subject? Any bad/good experiences? Photo courtesy: By Dave Whitinger (All Things Plants) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)
28 people like this
28 responses
@LadyDuck (126191)
• Switzerland
31 Aug 16
All those plants are toxic, especially the leaves. We call those plants "Devil's Breath".
4 people like this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
That sounds like a better name than Angels' Trumpet. :)
3 people like this
• Toronto, Ontario
31 Aug 16
@Lady Duck -yes I was going to say what Judy said- much more appropriate!
3 people like this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
@LadyDuck I'm glad someone else has heard similar things.
1 person likes this
@BettyB (4269)
• Summerville, South Carolina
31 Aug 16
The Angel Trumpet is a fairly common patio plant here in SC. It was given to me by an avid gardener that knows her plants well. She didn't warn me about the scent being toxic, but I'm not sure its an issue with this variety. The blossoms had no scent at all. To be safe, I'm getting rid of it. I don't want a potentially deadly plant sitting on my patio. Thanks for the heads up.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
Maybe it won't affect you but it's good to be aware of it.
@acelawrites (10749)
• Philippines
31 Aug 16
I only knew it could be toxic if you ingested some parts of it, and not that it emits toxic "gases?" It could really be a dangerous plant if that is so.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
I think everyone should do their own research on it but it certainly sounds suspect to me.
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17079)
• South Africa
31 Aug 16
well now that is a bit of realism there - I didnt know that, I shall remember this in the event I come across one. Not sure if I have seen it anywhere here?
2 people like this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
Wikipedia says it is 'native to tropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Venezuela to northern Chile, and also in south-eastern Brazil'. It also says they are grown as ornamental container plants world-wide. Interestingly all seven species are supposed to be extinct in the wild.
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@Inlemay (17079)
• South Africa
31 Aug 16
@JudyEv tragic that some have become extinct.
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@Inlemay (17079)
• South Africa
1 Sep 16
@JudyEv so are they as dangerous as you think?
1 person likes this
@sofssu (14718)
31 Aug 16
I have always known that datura and brugmansia are both poisonous.. I have had peach and yellow brugs for years.. we never had any problems with them. However, I have managed to keep the plant away from my dogs to avoid any eventualities. Right now I have a purple datura.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
That's good that you haven't had any problems. I guess it depends where they're growing.
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@sofssu (14718)
31 Aug 16
@JudyEv Or maybe how sensitive you are to the pollen?
2 people like this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
@sofssu That's true too. I just think it is good to be aware in case any problems arise.
@thelme55 (12452)
• Germany
31 Aug 16
Thanks for this very interesting information. I always love to have this plant in my garden but now after reading this, I won't.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
It is very pretty but there are lots of other safer options.
1 person likes this
@thelme55 (12452)
• Germany
31 Aug 16
@JudyEv yes, I agree with you.
1 person likes this
@NJChicaa (31445)
• United States
31 Aug 16
That plant sounds like it is no joke. I can't believe they are selling "essence" or whatever of it on that healing web site, though I imagine it would help one in the process of dying!
2 people like this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
I guess there are a lot of toxic plants that are being grown but this one does seem quite dangerous in the wrong situations.
1 person likes this
@just4him (95743)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
31 Aug 16
It's a shame that something so lovely would be so deadly.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
It is, isn't it? When I see the flower now, I'm more likely to think 'sinister'. But many people seem to have no trouble with them.
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@just4him (95743)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
5 Sep 16
@JudyEv We had a beautiful flowering bush in our back yard when we were living on Guam and I found out the flowers were poisonous.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 Sep 16
@just4him We had a grevillea in the garden that, when Vin cut it back, brought out itching and blisters all over his arms.
1 person likes this
• Calgary, Alberta
31 Aug 16
The flowers and seeds are poisonous. The leaves are not edible but it has healing properties. if you put in on the top of your painful joint and wrap it with a bandage and the pain will decrease. The leaves can be used as a topical pain killer. It is better than some over the counter pain killers out there.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
I'm sure it's okay if you know what you're doing. Thanks for the information on its healing qualities.
• Calgary, Alberta
31 Aug 16
@JudyEv As long as you wont eat them its fine. if you will use the leaves as pain killer, do not crash the leaves, Just put it on the top of the painful body part and wrap with bandage. it works even better if you rub some massage oil to the painful body part before bandaging.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
@CaptAlbertWhisker Good to you. I'll remember this. I have painful knuckles sometimes as I'm just starting to get a bit of arthritis.
@Jessicalynnt (47938)
• Centralia, Missouri
31 Aug 16
makes you wonder. I'm a bit freaked out that a plant can make someone ill just by blooming near a window
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
She was quite adamant that the plant had caused her problems. She had all sorts of evidence to back up her beliefs so she wasn't paranoid for nothing. But it seems maybe not all the varieties are troublesome.
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
31 Aug 16
@JudyEv and maybe some people are more susceptible to it.
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@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
@Jessicalynnt That is highly likely too.
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@salonga (28060)
• Philippines
3 Sep 16
Hmmm, thank you for this info. We have not such plants but I've been seeing a lot of them in Baguio City. I was thinking of planting them in my yard but now no more.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
3 Sep 16
Maybe they don't affect everyone but it is good to be aware that they do affect some people.
1 person likes this
@salonga (28060)
• Philippines
3 Sep 16
@JudyEv Yes, it is good to know that so we can always take necessary precautions.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Aug 16
mercy, i knew they were toxic, but didn't know 'bout the scent bein' so?? 's fer the jargon used'n that essence peddlin' place - i always tell folks to beware. some'll sell ya anythin' whilst tellin' ya how good't 's fer ya, when such can be detrimental. 'tis a beautiful flower though!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
Beauty can be deceptive, can't it? :)
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Aug 16
@JudyEv indeed!
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@TRBRocks420 (64320)
• Banks, Oregon
31 Aug 16
I never knew that very interesting and I hope there aren't any in my area. But it brings up the fact most medicine doctors give you is worse than the disease.
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@TRBRocks420 (64320)
• Banks, Oregon
1 Sep 16
@JudyEv I saw a commercial the other day and, they were naming off the side effects. I think the only thing it didn't have is will kill you instantly.
1 person likes this
@Platespinner (19086)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
31 Aug 16
Not something I'll be adding to the flowers in my garden. Of course it my gardening skills, I would probably kill it before it had much of a chance to do me any harm.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
I understand. With me and this plant, it would be who killed who first. I reckon I'd win.
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
1 Sep 16
@JudyEv See? Sometimes having a black thumb is an advantage .
1 person likes this
@paigea (21229)
• Canada
31 Aug 16
That is interesting. Many plants can be toxic if ingested so one should know about the plants in their home. That is something about that "health" website. Although many medicines are also poison.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
That's true. I always mistrust the jargon on some of these herbal products. On this site, It was just hot air, nothing definite at all. Words like liberating, revealing, enlightening. I wonder who writes the rubbish?
@paigea (21229)
• Canada
1 Sep 16
@JudyEv I never trust the info on that type of site either.
1 person likes this
@MarymargII (8439)
• Toronto, Ontario
31 Aug 16
Wow- who knew? You do have to be careful with some plants. I remember we had a weird, invasive plant where we used to live and it kind of bloomed at night. Strange- Time to be cautious right there! I did find out it's name but can't remember right now. The blooms were trumpet-like and it smelled horrible. So I don't think it's the one you are mentioning. It took me forever to get rid of it though as it kept sending shoots all over the place!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
It's just good to be aware of plants like this in case you start to have unexplained illnesses.
1 person likes this
• Toronto, Ontario
1 Sep 16
@JudyEv So true- not getting anything that looks like that picture!
1 person likes this
• China
1 Sep 16
Over here we use hindo datura and hairy datura as Chinese herbal medicine but both of the plants are herbaceous plant with erect flowers .The two plants mainly contain scopolamine .Our ancient people used them as anesthetic for surgery.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
1 Sep 16
Thanks for adding to this discussion. From what I've read the brugmansia has pendulous flowers and the datura erect ones. I'm sure they're okay if you know what you're doing. It seemed wise to let people know about the 'bad' parts.
1 person likes this
@andriaperry (35778)
• Anniston, Alabama
1 Sep 16
No but after reading this I know NOT to buy any of those!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
1 Sep 16
Despite their beauty it doesn't seem worth the risk.
@JohnRoberts (41896)
• Los Angeles, California
31 Aug 16
Toxic masked as beauty. I know nothing about this flower It may not even be growing in the US.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
The original post I saw was written by @BettyB who lives in South Carolina. It's a shame it's toxic when the flowers are so beautiful.
@Ronrybs (6973)
• London, England
31 Aug 16
Not heard of these flowers before. Don't think I'll keep any!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (103662)
• Bunbury, Australia
31 Aug 16
There are lots of others which would be much safer.
1 person likes this