Distinctly different plants available at VCMGA Plant Sale
Angels trumpet is often the name associated with both the brugmansia and datura because of similar appearance in their blooms. The brugmansia is a multi-trunk, small tree or large shrub, which will do well in the landscape or in a patio container in full sun to part shade. Its blooms are large trumpet-shaped flowers, 10- to 12-inches long, or sometimes longer. The flower is very fragrant and hangs down.
September 03, 2009

by Roy Cook/VCMGA Member

edited by Charla Borchers Leon,
VCMGA Member

The sale will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12,
at Victoria County 4-H Activity Center, 259 Bachelor Drive,
next to the Victoria Airport control tower.


Brazilian red cloak
Blazing star gayfeather
Pink surprise shell bush
Golden lace patrinia scabiosaefolia
Dark pink iochroma whitfieldia white candles
Aluminum plant
Cutleaf jatropha
Almond verbena
Lepedeza little volcano
Musical notes cleodendrum


Canyon Creek abelia
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
Burgundy blast loropetalum
Sovereign cleyra
Black knight butterfly bush - purple
Attraction butterfly bush - dark red
Tangerine beauty cross vine
Little John dwarf bottlebrush
Dwarf crape myrtles
Pink, purple, white and red

COMING NEXT WEEK: Why you should attend the sale.
The Master Gardener Fall Plant Sale, Sept. 12, will have lots of interesting plants available. Some have been grown in the Master Gardener green house, while some have been donated from Master Gardeners' own gardens.

Yet others have been purchased from select nurseries for distinct look or characteristic for fall planting.

The brugmansia and datura, commonly called the angels trumpet, will be available at the sale. They are plants that have withstood the elements in the Master Gardener green house this summer and will most likely be in quantity early in the sale. Note that they are similar, but different plants.


Brugmansia are semi-woody, small multi-trunk trees or large shrubs that can reach heights of 6 to 15 feet. The leaves are large, oval in shape, usually 6-inches wide and around 10-inches long or larger when grown in shade. The leaves are alternately spaced with a coarse margin and covered with fine hairs. The plant has a coarse texture, and the flowers are amazingly beautiful.

The name angels trumpet refers to the large trumpet shaped flowers 10- to 12-inches long or sometimes longer and 4 to 14 inches at its widest point. The flowers can be single or double and colored white, orange, pink, red or colors that change during the day. The flowers are very fragrant, with a corolla of 5, sometimes 6 points that slightly curve upward, while the flower itself hangs down.

A genus of six flowering plants in the family Solanaceae (nightshade family), brugmansia are native to subtropical regions of South America.

Brugmansia can easily be grown in well-drained, moist, fertile soil in full sun to part shade. They begin to flower in mid-spring and continue into the fall.

In cold winters, they may need protection, but the roots are hardy and will re-sprout in the spring. Angels trumpet can be grown as a patio container plant or a specimen in the landscape.

Datura is a woody-stalked, leafy annual or a short-lived perennial. It grows normally to about 3 feet in height but can reach as high as 5 feet. They can grow upright or sprawling, depending on the species. The flowers are funnel- or trumpet-shaped with five lobes with some species having 10 lobes.

The datura is a genus of nine species of vespertine flowering plants belonging to the family Solanaceae (nightshade family.) Its exact and natural distribution is unknown. Some common names of the datura depending on species are thorn apple (from the spiny fruit), pricklyburr, Jimson weed, moonflower, devil's trumpet (from their large erect, trumpet shaped flowers) and various others.

The word datura comes from the Hindi Dhatura (thorn apple).

The leaves of the datura are oval shaped and can be 8-inches long and up to 7-inches wide. The flower stands erect, not pendulous like the brugmansia. They can be 8-inches long and 5-inches wide.

The seed pod is round and spiny, hence the name thorn apple. Some species are round and smooth. The seed pod is brown and splits open when mature spreading the numerous seed to the wind.

Datura are easy to cultivate and will grow in most garden soils. The plants will do very well in containers, where they can be wintered over. They do best in full sun and soil that is well-drained in order to keep their roots dry.

Outdoors, in good locations, the plants re-seed very heavily and could become invasive.

In containers, they should have a well-drained, porous potting mix.

Compost and manure should be avoided as the plants are susceptible to fungi in the root area.

Angels From Above, Devils From Below

The perennial angel trumpets with hanging flowers that were formerly included in datura, are now in their own genus, brugmansia. So, remember, angels trumpets hang down, pointing from heaven, devil's trumpets point up.

Warning - All parts of the brugmansia and datura are poisonous if ingested by humans and animals, including livestock and pets.

If you want to grow these beautiful flowering plants, I suggest growing them outside the area of where children and pets play.

The sap in the leaves and stems can irritate your eyes, so I also suggest wearing gloves and cleaning any tools the come into contact with these plants.

Both brugmansia and datura are sold in the same places as angels trumpet, so you don't know which plant you are getting. Check the labels and do some research.

The plants will be marked properly at the sale.

Other Featured Plants at Sale

Besides the usual landscape plants, we've added special, featured plants and distinctly different plants have been purchased especially for this sale.

Featured plants will be the red bird cactus and crown of thorns, propagated and grown in our greenhouse by Master Gardeners.
The datura is a woody-stalked, leafy plant that normally grows to about 3 feet in height, but can reach as high as 5 feet. It grows well in most garden soils and does best in full sun. They do well in containers but may need protection in the winter. Outdoors in good locations, the plants re-seed very heavily and could become invasive. The flowers are trumpet-shaped and grow upright or sprawling, depending on the species.
Contributed Photo by Heidi Sheesley/TreeSearch Farms
Plants like this distinctly different Pink Surprise Shell Bush will be available at the plant sale from TreeSearch Farms, which specializes in exotic plants that are adapted to the Gulf Coast.
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or vcmga@vicad.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.