The Difference Between Brugmansia & Datura
Ever since I posted my double white datura in the exchange with a picture, I have been getting a number of emails from people who are confused about the difference between Brugmansia & Datura. Here is what I know. I would appreciate any corrections if the info is wong.
Both Brugmansia & Datura are in the same family of Solanaceae.
Brugmansia grow into trees, produce brown wood and are perennial in warmer climates. 99% of their flowers point down and are usually called Angels Trumpet. They produce green bean like seed pods.
Datura are annual bushes (except in climates with no frost) and do not produce brown wood. Their stems and trunks are almost always green. Their flowers point up and are mistakenly called Angels Trumpet but are acutally Devils Trumpet. They produce round, spikey or bumpy seed pods that can literally explode when ripe throwing seeds all over the place if the pod is not well hydrated.
All parts of both are extremely toxic. The roots, stems, flowers, leaves and seeds contain the chemicals atropine, scopolamine and hyoscyamine in varying concentrations. If you have toddlers or pets that like to sample plants you must take special care to make sure they cannot come in contact in anyway with either plant. If ingested it could kill them.
When handling either, make it a point not to touch your face, eat or handle food until you have washed your hands. There have been a few posts in the last few months describing the symptoms of Solanaceae poisoning. If you have ever experienced headaches, confusion or vision problems after working with your Brugs or Dats, you have inadvertantly poisoned yourself. Most of the time you will not connect the two. I have poisoned myself unknowingly harvesting Datura seeds when I had open cuts on my fingers or neglected to wash my hands right after harvesting the seeds.
There will be a test tomorrow ;-)