Brugmansia sanguinea (Red Angel's Trumpet)
Binomial name: Brugmansia sanguinea
Synonyms: Datura rubella, Datura sanguinea, Brugmansia bicolor, Brugmansia lutea
Common names: Red Angel's Trumpet, Scarlet Angel’s Trumpet, Red Brugmansia, Red Floripontio, Eagle Tree.
All parts of this plant is poisonous, see text below.
Brugmansia sanguinea is a solanaceous perennial. This South American species of shrub or small tree is endemic to the Andes Mountains from Colombia to northern Chile at elevations from 2,000 to 3,000 m. They can reach a height of10 m. The nodding, tube-shaped flowers come in colours of brilliant red, yellow, orange, or green. The term sanguinea is derived from the Latin word for blood (sanguis) which describes the colour of the corolla tube. The name "Angel's trumpet" refers to the large, pendulous, trumpet-shaped flowers. The Brugmansia sanguinea flower red colour distinguishes this plant from the species within the genus Brugmansia.
Most Brugmansia are fragrant in the evenings to attract pollinating moths but Brugmansia sanguinea is the one species that lacks scent and in its native habit it is pollinated by long-billed hummingbirds.
Brugmansia have two main stages to their life cycle. In the initial vegetative stage the young seedling grows straight up on usually a single stalk, until it reaches its first main fork at 80–150 cm high. It will not flower until after it has reached this fork, and then only on new growth above the fork. Cuttings taken from the lower vegetative region must also grow to a similar height before flowering, but cuttings from the upper flowering region will often flower at a very low height.
All parts of Brugmansia species are poisonous, with the seeds and leaves being especially dangerous. Brugmansia are rich in scopolamine, hyoscyamine, and several other tropane alkaloids. Effects of ingestion can include paralysis of smooth muscles, confusion, tachycardia, dry mouth, diarrhea, migraine headaches, visual and auditory hallucinations, mydriasis, rapid onset cycloplegia, and death.
Photographed September at Lake Mangamahoe. New Plymouth.