Angel’s Trumpet: The Sweet Smell of Death

On March 24, 2009 I wrote a post called “It’s a weed Jim, but not as we know it”. In that post I included a picture of a plant called Angel’s Trumpet and then said…

This plant is no angel but I can’t tell you about it here. It’s so bad is has to go into Australia’s Bad things category. So I’ll save the Angel’s Trumpet for another day.

Five years on and that day has arrived. Today, you are ready to know. Today, it’s time for me to tell you about Angel’s Trumpet. And no, of course I didn’t forget, honest.

Angels Trumpet: Australian Bad Thing

Angels Trumpet

Angels Trumpet

They are not just an Australian Bad Thing, this plant can also be found in South America, North America, Africa and Asia, as well as my front garden.

Yes, that’s right, the plant in these pictures is in my front garden. Let’s have a closer look at those trumpets…


Those Trumpets

Pros and cons


  • They smell absolutely gorgeous.


  • They can kill.

Yes, just about every part of this plant is poisonous, very poisonous. Specifically, according to Queensland Health

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.

That’s one dangerous plant, isn’t it?

That list of symptoms is very long and one would have thought that the mention of ‘death’ and ‘coma’ would surely convince everyone to stay away from this plant. Unfortunately, some idiots only see the word ‘hallucinations’ and think…

Dude! This will be coooool man, let’s get messed up.

And messed up they will get if they dabble with this stuff, well and truly messed up. Deaths have occurred apparently, although I found no evidence of any fatalities in Australia.


The scientific name for this large shrub is Brugmansia, it’s part of the Solanaceae family along with a plant called Deadly Nightshade which you probably have heard of. At least “Deadly Nightshade” gives you a clue about the danger of the plant, but “Angel’s Trumpet” gives you no hint of any potential problems at all.

The plant actually gets its name from the shape of the flower, but instead you should think of its name like this:

What kind of state would you likely be in if you actually saw an angel playing a trumpet?

Precisely; this is a plant to stay away from.

Angel’s Trumpet is an Australian Bad Thing.

Update: to find out more about scary plants, and what happened to my Angel’s Trumpet, visit…

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{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Jane November 14, 2017, 9:18 am | Link

    You are quite clearly an ignorant, uneducated, overly dramatic, ill informed fool. You have no business scaring people with your dishonest summarisation of Brugmansia. Like anything in life… danger exists only for idiots who don’t exercise due care. I have over 17 cultivars of this plant growing in my garden, chickens, children, a dog and four cats… surprise, surprise, with care and education of my children, we are…. yep…. ALIVE! Morons like you are a blight on humanity.

    • BobinOz November 14, 2017, 8:42 pm | Link

      How wonderful to hear from somebody who is even more obnoxious than the plant itself. Whether your kids and pets are alive or not, and whether you like it or not, this plant is poisonous and dangerous.

      ‘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.’


      ‘Attempts by Australians to experiment with this aspect of the plant (median age 18, 82 per cent male) have led to hospitalisation for tachycardia and delirium, with associated accidental injury.’


      Not to mention Wikipedia…

      ‘All parts of Brugmansia are potentially poisonous, with the seeds and leaves being especially dangerous. Brugmansia are rich in scopolamine (hyoscine), 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.’


      Anyway, I’d best let you go, you have your work cut out visiting all the other websites on the World Wide Web who are saying how dangerous this plant is and calling them morons.

    • Mark November 15, 2017, 6:32 am | Link

      Hi Jane… Thanks for your very informative view of errrr,,,I guess you learn something new everyday. In your case I have learned that despite this plant as being on record as causing several deaths over the years, that’s several too many, especially for the family and friends of those that died. Some folks like yourself like having it around…OK each to their own I guess (and yes your all alive). Personally Id rather not have the risk…
      You have trained your flock well not to touch it. Which means you know of its nasty side otherwise why would you have educated your children about it….You cannot see the benefits of this slightly tongue in cheek webpage about it, as being helpful to those that don’t know about its toxic effects…
      If this page stops one child touching it and becoming ill through not washing hands etc then I’m all for it… Look at the lady below who was going to press the flowers.
      Personally speaking id say with your verbal attack on the writer (instead of being helpful) you are clearly alive from this plant but I wonder has it had some effect…
      It would also suggest that several other people as you put it are uneducated morons in your eyes. certainly if you read this but I do take your point its not that bad, after all its only number 3 on the list of Australia’s most poisonous plants…Strychnine thats number 2 thats far worse. What harm can Brugmansia be at number 3 ?
      I can just imagine your place when children visit yes of course you can play in the garden but can you stay away from that plant and that one oh! and that one and don’t go near those and Oh! yes forgot those over there, stay away from them and that one but you have all the rest of the garden to play in..Here is the Ludo board, dont throw the dice too far will you?

  • Ozimandias October 4, 2017, 10:20 pm | Link

    I rather like the comment online “For drama in the garden, there’s nothing like Brugmansia”.
    It sounds like it has more or less the same brain altering properties as Datura, namely anticholinergic poisoning.
    Acetylcholine is a major neurotransmitter for the brain, important in memory formation and pupillary muscle relaxation, by the looks of things also for perception. This plant has chemicals which block good functioning of acetylcholine, hence the term anticholinergic.
    I’m not sure this is an Australian native plant, though happy to stand corrected.

    • BobinOz October 5, 2017, 9:30 pm | Link

      Hmm, yes, but not the kind of drama most of us would want in our lives, I’m sure we all quite like a little bit of perception and relaxation, not to mention how nice it is to remember stuff. Thanks for the detail, definitely a plant to stay away from.

  • laetitia October 4, 2017, 9:47 pm | Link

    Thanks to you my kids and rabbits dog and birds are safe
    I almost bought some for flower pressing leaf pressing kids art. For the kids . Whole plant.
    Kids put hands in mouths without realizing being asthmatics and having allergies towards other plants you saved my family thankyou 🙂

    • BobinOz October 5, 2017, 9:25 pm | Link

      Rabbits? Rabbits! I do hope you are not in Queensland 🙂

      Anyway, I am very pleased to hear that I have saved your kids and pets from the above listed horrors these plants can inflict, it’s actually made my day. It’s probably not quite enough to get me nominated for Australian of the year, but next time I’m in a pub or something and anyone cares to listen to me, I might casually mention about saving some kids and rabbits and dogs and birds, in a non-boastful way of course 🙂

  • Elena January 25, 2017, 11:57 am | Link

    Hello there! I wonder if your angel trumpet tree is in Melbourne? if so, I would love with your permission to get some of the flowers please! Thank you.

    • BobinOz January 27, 2017, 4:42 pm | Link

      No, my Angel trumpet tree was not ever in Melbourne, it was in Brisbane. Alas, it is no more, having cold-bloodedly been poisoned before it poisoned my cat, dog or any other creature. Live by the sword, die by the sword, as they say.

      I think you can get them in garden centres though 🙂

  • i know September 5, 2016, 7:15 pm | Link

    haha there isnt two plants that look the same theres just the one and i guarantee you have no idea what your on about. i dont know how to say it but you think theres two plants haha theres just different names for the same plant in the picture. maybe you did have some and youve been affected so bad you read up on it and got confused. the other species of this plant are from overseas and the flowers come in different colours. haha what more do you need to be told you moron

    • BobinOz September 7, 2016, 12:21 am | Link

      Allow me to share with you my thoughts. You posted this particular comment at 7:15 PM on 5 September using the name ‘i know’. With this comment you come across as arrogant, telling me I don’t know what I’m on about, and insulting, you call me a moron. You also appear to be suffering from intermittent uncontrolled laughter which presents itself with your copious use of ‘haha’.

      Then, just 13 minutes later and a few comments below, you post another comment using the name ‘yeahnah bullish’. In this comment there is no arrogance displayed, no insults and no sign of that uncontrolled laughter. I think you have to face reality; your use of Angels trumpets appears to have induced paranoid schizophrenia, which we used to call split personality in the old days but which I now believe is referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder.

      I’d stop munching flowers if I were you, and maybe see a doctor.

      • yeahnah bullish September 7, 2016, 1:05 pm | Link

        i like your assumptions about me they make me laugh because this whole article YOU posted is an assumption about something youve never experienced so there for you DONT know and as for what i do in my life …the last thing ill do is be judged and take advice from someone who posts an article on something they know nothing about. checkmate .

        • BobinOz September 8, 2016, 9:05 pm | Link

          I don’t have to try Angel’s trumpet before warning people of its dangers, same as I don’t have to be eaten by a crocodile to warn people not to swim in rivers in Northern Territory.

          You think I have got the wrong plant here and so does George Fuller below. I don’t think I have, but when I say ‘I don’t think I have’ that’s what I mean. I don’t have your arrogance so I am not going to say I’m definitely right.

          I will leave people to judge for themselves, by visiting the International Brugmansia and Datura Society. Here’s how they describe the difference:

          Angel’s Trumpet versus Devil’s Trumpet

          It is easy to envision the hanging flowers of Brugmansia as Angel’s Trumpets, blasting from the heavens towards the Devil down below. Likewise, Datura’s trumpet-shaped flowers call upwards to the heavens. Datura prefer to be watered only when the roots are dry; Brugmansia require more water. One should avoid watering Datura from overhead, as this will spoil the upwards-facing flowers.

          As they clearly state, Datura flowers face upwards, as you can see in the photograph, my flowers definitely point downwards towards the devil. I am no gardener, but from everything I’ve read I still believe my flowers are Angel’s trumpet.

      • Tina May 25, 2017, 1:41 pm | Link

        “Schizophrenia” and “Multiple Personality Disorder/ Split personality” as it was called in the old days and now goes by” Dissociative Identity Disorder”. are 2 totally different mental disorders. You should check up on your facts before you go throwing around labels to very serious illnesses to appear funny and clever. You just end up looking ignorant,arrogant and uninformed.

        • BobinOz May 25, 2017, 8:20 pm | Link

          Yes, humour can often cause offence to small minorities, always has and hopefully always will because if we have to check every joke for political correctness before we are allowed to say it, there will be much less joviality in the world.

          And no, I didn’t check my facts, but this is just a comment, I’m not writing an article for a medical journal. There are over 40,000 comments on this website and I get involved in a lot of conversations. If I had to research everything I say in these comments before I publish them, I’d never get any sleep. What I try to do when somebody is aggressive or insulting towards me is to defuse it with humour and that’s what I tried to do in this conversation.

          I won’t bother with you though, I’m sure you would find offensive if I did.

        • Chelsea August 18, 2017, 4:01 pm | Link

          To Tina –

          Your comment was SOOOO annoyingly rude and so unnecessary. Leave this man alone, it’s not like he was writing an article about mental disorders. He was simply stating his opinion, and I agree with him . Rediculous.

  • yeahnah bullish July 21, 2016, 8:40 pm | Link

    um that plant in the picture is datura and i know this because i eat it and yeah it can kill you if you overdo it .dont correct me because im right i know from experience .i once had this plant and time slowed is potent but in small doses its okay .whoever made this page doesnt know that all datura makes you trip out and is poisoness. try it before you judge it please

    • BobinOz July 22, 2016, 3:15 pm | Link

      ‘try it before you judge it please’ – that’s the funniest thing I’ve read from a long time!

      Try it? Whether it’s Angel’s trumpet or datura, they are both quite toxic, why would anybody want to try it? I still think my pictures are of angel’s trumpet, but I know the two plants are very similar and often mistaken for each other, so we’ll just have to disagree.

      But thanks for making me laugh; if ever I want time to slow down, I know what to do now 🙂

      • yeahnah bullish September 5, 2016, 7:28 pm | Link

        haha its your loss if you dont try it and simply judge it. i have stepped through different levels of reality and you have sat shortmindedly judging this wonder of nature. it makes you very thirsty and makes your eyes look awsome for a few days ,you can sense if someone is good or evil now by the vibes they give out, ive got to tell you if you dont eat/drink/smoke this flower youll never know what it does but ill leave that up you if you believe propaganda or not. it can kill you but in the right doses its not that bad. maybe you havent got the courage because you believe stories .it does some weird things but nothing that matters

  • George fuller August 15, 2015, 1:17 pm | Link

    You got the wrong plant!!! You want Datura. That’s the angel of death. A close cousin of Brugmansia which is not poisonous at all. The Datura has spike seed pods and a saw tooth leaves.

    • BobinOz August 16, 2015, 7:13 pm | Link

      I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here George, but the pictures I have of plants in my post are definitely Angel’s Trumpet, scientific name Brugmansia and they are toxic and can kill.

      There is another plant called Datura which is also known as Angel’s Trumpet and is also poisonous, but that’s not what this post is about.

  • Marion January 26, 2015, 12:39 pm | Link

    When you say Angles Trumpet is deadly do you mean by smelling flowers
    touching the leaves & or cutting the plant back. ?
    How long does it take for affects to take affect.?

    • BobinOz January 27, 2015, 5:21 pm | Link

      All I can tell you for sure Marion is that smelling the flowers is not a problem, I think you have to do something stupid like eat them or make a cup of tea out of the leaves. I’m not sure what handling them does, probably best to wear gardening gloves and you certainly don’t want to be touching them and then putting your fingers in your mouth.

      I had an Angels Trumpet in my front garden for about six years or so, nobody died 🙂

  • Kamma May 1, 2014, 7:19 pm | Link

    Wow! Thanks for the warning, Bob. Stay clear of trumpets.

    I was just about to say that! You’re probably not in a very good place, or rather in way to good a place, if angels are playing trumpets around you.

    • BobinOz May 2, 2014, 8:31 pm | Link

      Yes, maybe it is a good place, but I don’t think many of us consider ourselves ready for it just yet. 🙂

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