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
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…
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…