Brugmansia is a genus of six species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae, 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 pendulous (not erect) flowers.
Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpet) are perennials that can grow into trees and live for a long time. It’s blooms hang downward and they bloom in shades of yellow, orange, white, pink & red. Brugs usually need to be hand pollinated and rarely will ever produce a seed pod.
As with Datura, all parts of Brugmansia are highly toxic. The plants are sometimes ingested for recreational or shamanic intoxication as the plant contains the tropane alkaloids scopolamine and atropine; however because the potency of the toxic compounds in the plant is variable, the degree of intoxication is unpredictable and can be fatal.
Urarina shaman, 1988
Ritualized Brugmansia consumption is an important aspect of the shamanic complexes noted among many Indigenous peoples of western Amazonia, such as the Jivaroan speaking peoples. Likewise, it is a central component in the cosmology and shamanic practices of the Urarina peoples of Loreto, Peru.
All parts of Brugmansia plants contain dangerous levels of poison and may be fatal if ingested by humans or animals, including livestock and pets. Contact with the eyes can cause pupil diliation (mydriasis) or unequal pupil size (anisocoria). Some municipalities prohibit the purchase, sale, or cultivation of Brugmansia plants.