Monday, August 20, 2012

Solanaceae: Plants of the Sun that Bloom in the Night

  Datura metel, 2009
The nightshades include vegetables: peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants. Petunias and nicotiana are among the hardy annuals in the Solanaceae family.

Vespertine flowers in family Solanaceae that I grow include Brugmansia suaveolens, Datura inoxia and Datura metel.

Brugmansia trumpets hang over the upward facing Datura metel.
Other pics of Purple Datura are here:

where I wrote about the purple Daturas in July.

I forget what notion caused me to plant Brugs and Daturas
in beds together, maybe to keep the noxious plants together.
Nearer the ground are the white Datura inoxias.

Blooming at night to attract moths that pollinate, the fragrance
is sweetly noticed on the breeze, almost intoxicating.
Daytimes, the foliage is acrid and unpleasant if bruised.

Every article on these plants emphasize that they are poisonous.

I did learn in my reading that the amount of alkloids varies, being more concentrated in poor soils. Some might be merely hallucinogenic; other plants might be deadly according to where they grow.

Datura inoxia.

These are hardy in zones 9-11. Here in zone 8b they die back
to the roots at frost. This one died back. The ones in the top pics
 I kept inside where tall plants lost all their leaves; new cuttings
fared a little better but are slower to bloom.

According to Iversen's book on Tropicals, Victorian gardeners planted
annuals in circles around the 'ankles' of specimen Brugmansias.
I am waiting for alternanthera under this one to fill in and turn red as
the weather gets cooler.

Previous years, there were also yellow double Datura metel in the garden.
I started seeds of the purple this spring, but never got around to yellow.

   Maybe next year.


  1. I love those Brugmansia, I have been misguided, I was under the impression that Datura had been renamed Brugmansia. So pleased to have dropped by.

  2. My Brug has done quite well this year. My Datura I had to move away from the gardens as it selfseeded way too much for me.


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