The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications

Brugmansia arborea (Linnaeus) Lagerheim

 

Angel’s Trumpet Tree

 

Family

 

Solanaceae (Nightshade Family); Subfamily Solanoideae, Datureae Tribe, Brugmansia Section

Forms and Subspecies

 

There are presumably different cultivars.

Because of their variability and the many hybrids, angel’s trumpets are often very difficult to classify (Preissel and Preissel 1997). The botanical literature is also quite chaotic concerning the taxonomy of these plants (Bristol 1966 and 1969; Lockwood 1973).

Synonyms

 

Datura arborea L.

Datura arborea Ruíz et Pav.

Datura cornigera Hook.

Brugmansia candida Pers. sensu latu

Folk Names

 

Almizclillo, angel’s trumpet tree, baumdatura, baumstechapfel, borrachera, (Spanish,“inebriator”),55 campachu, campanilla, chamico, cimora, cojones del diablo, engelstrompetenbaum, floripondio, großer stechapfel, guarguar, hierba de los compañones, huántac (Zaparo-Quechua), huanto, huánto (Quijo), huántuc (Quechua), huarhuar, isshiona (Zaporo), kecubong (Bali),56 maícoma, mai ko, mai ko’ mo, mataperro (Spanish, “dog killer”), misha huarhuar, misha rastrera blanca, qotu (Quechua), saharo, tecomaxochitl (Nahuatl),57 toé, tree stramonium, trombeteiro (Brazil)

History

 

All of the angel’s trumpets are from South America. They are now known only as cultigens and not as wild plants. It has still not been determined which wild plants yielded the known species and hybrids. This implies that the plant must have long played a role in human cultures. For this reason, it is very likely that angel’s trumpets were already being used for ritual and psychoactive purposes in prehistoric times. Brugmansia arborea is from the Andes region. The earliest description of the Indian use of this potent hallucinogen is probably that of Bernabé Cobo (1653) (Bastien 1987, 115*). The species “was first described in 1714 by Louis Feullée, and Linnaeus’s description is based upon his illustration” (Stary 1983, 96*).

Distribution

 

This relatively rare species has an extensive range, from Ecuador to Peru and Bolivia and into northern Chile. It grows wild in the Bolivian province of Bautista Saavedra, in the lower valleys of Camata (Bastien 1987, 114*).

Cultivation

 

This angel’s trumpet, like all other Brugmansia species, is most easily propagated by cuttings. A sharp knife is used to cut off the end of a branch, some 20 cm in length, which is then stripped of all but the newest leaf buds. The cutting is then placed in water. Roots appear after two to three weeks. Soon thereafter, it can be planted in nutrient-rich soil. Because the plant does not tolerate frost, in central Europe it can be grown only in pots.

The plant is grown for pharmaceutical purposes (scopolamine production) in the Andes region, Brazil, the southern United States, and India (Lindequist 1992*). The angel’s trumpet also enjoys a wide distribution as an ornamental.

Appearance

 

The treelike perennial bush can grow as tall as 5 meters in height. It produces trumpet-shaped (sometimes double), five-pointed flowers that are white or cream-white in color and hang slightly to the side. At night, these exude an exhilaratingly sweet scent. The long calyx is single and deeply incised (an important diagnostic feature). The smooth fruits, when they do develop, are berrylike and contain large brown seeds. They are almost spherical (another important diagnostic feature). Most angel’s trumpets only rarely or never produce fruits. The leaves, which frequently grow along the same side of the stalk, are oblong-elliptic and pointed at the ends and can be of varying lengths. In the tropics and temperate zones, angel’s trumpets blossom throughout the year. The flowers wilt after about five days.

Brugmansia arborea is easily confused with the white-blossomed Brugmansia aurea and Brugmansia candida.

Many plant lovers, gardeners, anthropologists, and even botanists confuse all Brugmansia species with the thorn apple (Datura). The two genera, however, can be easily distinguished by the position of their flowers. The flowers of all species of Brugmansia hang more or less straight down, while the flowers of the Datura species point more or less upward, often steeply. In addition, no Brugmansia is known to produce a thorny fruit.

 

Depiction of an angel’s trumpet or tree datura on an Incan drinking vessel. (Copy by C. Rätsch)

 

 

The treelike angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia arborea) is a common ornamental throughout the world. Especially in subtropical zones, it can attain a stately height and develop woody stems. (Photographed in Peru)

 

Psychoactive Material

 

—Leaves

—Fresh flowers (used to produce the homeopathic mother tincture)

—Seeds

Preparation and Dosage

 

The leaves are extracted in cold water or steeped in hot water. A psychoactive dosage is usually given as four leaves or one flower brewed into a tea. The crushed seeds may be added to chicha (Bastien 1987, 114f.*). The leaves are also used as one of the main ingredients of the cimora drink and as an additive to preparations of San Pedro (Trichocereus pachanoi). Dried leaves are smoked alone or in smoking blends together with other ingredients, e.g., Cannabis indica.

Extreme caution should be exercised when ingesting any species of Brugmansia. Angel’s trumpets are the most potent hallucinogens in the plant kingdom, producing hallucinations that are no longer recognized as such. South American shamans urgently warn unknowledgeable people against using these plants. Angel’s trumpets are used for psychoactive purposes almost exclusively by experienced shamans. Overdoses can result in states of delirium that can last for days and have aftereffects that persist for weeks. Proper dosage presents an additional problem. People react very differently to the tropane alkaloids. In other words, the same dosage can produce completely different effects in different people. In the toxico-logical literature, one can read that heavy overdoses can be fatal; such cases, however, are only poorly documented (cf. Brugmansia suaveolens).

In contrast to internal ingestion, smoking the dried leaves is relatively harmless. Smoking an amount that corresponds to one to two cigarettes produces only subtle effects. The Brugmansia effects become more obvious when the leaves are combined with hemp products (Cannabis indicaCannabis sativa).

Ritual Use

 

The Indians regard angel’s trumpet as sacred. The priests of the Andean peoples smoked the leaves so that they could make prophecies, divine, and diagnose. Many Andean peoples use the seeds as an additive to the chicha (maize beer) that is drunk at village festivals and religious rituals.

“The Indians use [the angel’s trumpet] to get drunk, and when they take too much, they completely lose their senses, so that they cannot see or hear with open eyes. They are accustomed to exploit this for evil purposes. Not long ago, it happened that one of my friends was given chamico so that he could be robbed. When he awoke, he was so angry that he ran around naked, with only his shirt, and fell into a river. They seized him and kept him locked up until, after two days, he reawakened from his condition. Juice from the leaves, mixed with vinegar and applied above the liver, mitigates mild fever and is very good for high fever. A mate [= tea] of this solution heals chronic fever.”

 

BERNABÉ COBO

 

HISTORIA DEL NUEVO MUNDO [HISTORY OF THE NEW WORLD] (1653; CITED IN BASTIEN 1987, 115*)

 

Artifacts

 

It is astonishing that relatively few artifacts or artistic renditions are associated with angel’s trumpet. Where such objects do exist, it is usually almost impossible to determine which species is being represented (cf. Brugmansia candida). Angel’s trumpets are frequently depicted in the paintings of the American artist Donna Torres. Jürgen Mick has masterfully portrayed Brugmansia arborea in his comic story Träume [Dreams] (Carlsen, Hamburg, 1993).

Medicinal Use

 

In Peru, the leaves of this and other angel’s trumpets are used in the treatment of tumors (Chavez V. 1977, 231*). It is possible that the seeds may have been used for anesthetic purposes in pre-Columbian times, perhaps in combination with coca leaves (Erythroxlum coca) (Bastien 1987, 115*).

A number of potencies of Datura arborea hom. HAB34 and Datura arborea hom. HPUS78 are used in homeopathy in accordance with the medical description. The mother tinctures are produced by extracting the flowers in strong spirits (Lindequist 1992*).

Constituents

 

All parts of the plant contain tropane alkaloids. The leaves contain 0.2 to 0.4% total alkaloids, of which 0.01% is hyoscyamine, 0.13% is scopolamine, and 0.07% is atropine. The stems contain only 0.16% total alkaloids; the seeds contain chiefly hyoscyamine. The roots also contain the alkaloids (–)-3,6-ditigloyloxytropane, 7-hydroxy-3,6-ditigloyloxytropane, tropine, and pseudotropine. Coumarins and scopoletin are both present in all parts of the plant (Lindequist 1992, 1140).

Effects

 

Brugmanisa arborea induces strong parasympatholytic effects (Jacinto et al. 1988). Characteristic symptoms include mydriasis (dilation of the pupils), often persisting for days, along with an extreme dryness of the mucous membranes. Depending upon the dosage and individual reactions, there can also be profound hallucinations with a complete loss of reality, delirium, coma, and death through respiratory paralysis (Lindequist 1992*).

Angel’s trumpets are said to have potent narcotic effects. In Peru, intoxicating a person against his or her will is known as chamicado, which means “touched by the angel’s trumpet” (Bastien 1987, 114*).

Commercial Forms and Regulations

 

The seeds and plants of all Brugmansia species are available without restriction and can be purchased in many nurseries and garden shops. The mother tincture requires a prescription (Lindequist 1992*).

 

Scopolamine

 

 

Hyoscyamine

 

 

Scopoletin

 

It is strange that this most potent and most dangerous of all plant hallucinogens is not included on any list of illegal drugs, while such plants as Cannabis and Erythroxylum, which by comparison are almost completely harmless, are prohibited. This situation is a strong indication that most current drug laws are not founded upon scientific knowledge (cf. Körner 1994*).

“His body was burning with heat, his throat parched with dryness, and for the first time, he recalled the cup of Huacacachu [= Brugmansia] that he had ingested. Then he knew that he had journeyed through the land of visions, and not through the desert, as he had thought . . .”

 

DANIEL PETERS

 

THE INCA

 

(1991, 299*)

 

Literature

 

See also the entries for the other Brugmansia species, scopolamine, and tropane alkaloids.

 

Bristol, Melvin L. 1966. Notes on the species of tree daturas. Botanical Museum Leaflets 21 (8): 229–48.

 

———. 1969. Tree datura drugs of the Colombian Sibundoy. Botanical Museum Leaflets 22 (5): 165–227.

 

Jacinto, José Maria Serejo S., José Antonio Lapa, and Souccar Caden. 1988. Estudio farmacológico do extrato bruto do Datura arborea L. Acta Amazônica, Supplement 18 (1–2): 135–43.

 

Lindequist, Ulrike. 1992. Datura. In Hagers Handbuch der pharmazeutischen Praxis, 5th ed., 4:1138–54. Berlin: Springer.

 

Lockwood, Tommie E. (See obituary in Economic Botany 29 [1975]: 4–5.) 1973. Generic recognition of Brugmansia. Botanical Museum Leaflets 23:273–84.

 

———. 1979. The ethnobotany of Brugmansia. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 1:147–64.

 

Mick, Jürgens. 1993. Träume [Dreams]. Hamburg: Carlsen.

 

Preissel, Ulrike, and Hans Georg Preissel. 1997. Engelstrompeten: Brugmansia und Datura. 2nd edition. Stuttgart: Verlag Eugen Ulmer.

 

Shah, C. S., and A. N. Saoji. 1966. Alkaloidal estimation of aerial parts of Datura arborea L. Planta Medica 14:465–67.

 

Brugmansia aurea Lagerheim

 

Golden Angel’s Trumpet

 

Family

 

Solanaceae (Nightshade Family); Subfamily Solanoideae, Datureae Tribe, Brugmansia Section

Forms and Subspecies

 

There is a yellow- and a white-blooming form. Several mutations have also been observed: “The clones of Brugmansia aurea are often of bizarre appearance. They are frequently infected by viruses” (Plowman 1981, 441).

Synonyms

 

Datura aurea (Lagerh.) Saff.

Schultes and Raffauf have recently suggested that Brugmansia candida is a synonym for Brugmansia aurea (1990, 421*). On the other hand, Brugmansia aurea is also regarded as a synonym for Brugmansia candida.

Folk Names

 

Borrachero, floripondio, gelbe baumdatura, golden angel’s trumpet, goldene baumdatura, goldene engelstrompete, golden tree datura, guantu, huandauj, kiéri (Huichol),58 kiéri-nánari (Huichol, “root of the kiéri”), yellow tree datura

History

 

Golden angel’s trumpet was first discovered and described at the end of the nineteenth century by the Swedish botanist Nils Gustaf von Lagerheim (1860–1926) (Lagerheim 1893). In South America, its ethnobotanical significance is similar to that of Brugmansia candida (Plowman 1981).

Distribution

 

The original range of Brugmansia aurea extended from Colombia into southern Ecuador. It is not known when the species was introduced into Mexico. In the Andes, it is primarily found in altitudes between 2,000 and 3,000 meters (Plowman 1981).

“The aim and purpose of the Brugmansia inebriation was—as a rule—to establish contact with the gods or the spirits of the ancestors. With their help, one could try to positively influence one’s own future and that of the tribe. In the inebriated state, one saw oneself transported into a different level of consciousness that made it possible to communicate with the supernatural powers, to ask them for help, and to receive their teachings. Brugmansias were the keys that opened the door to this other world.”

 

ULRIKE AND HANS-GEORG PREISSEL ENGELSTROMPETEN [ANGEL’S TRUMPET]

 

(1997, 14f.)

 

Cultivation

 

See Brugmansia arborea.

Appearance

 

This perennial, treelike shrub has a woody stem and is usually heavily branched. The smooth, marginated leaves are oval-cuspidate. The calyx is simple and only slightly incised. The long, funnel-shaped, five-pointed, and normally luminously yellow flowers hang down at an angle. They are larger than the flowers of Brugmansia arborea and more stocky than the blossoms of Brugmansia candida. The smooth fruits are somewhat fatter and shorter than those of Brugmansia candida.

The white-blossomed form is very easily mistaken for Brugmansia candida.

Psychoactive Material

 

—Stems and stem pith

—Leaves

—Flowers

—Seeds

Preparation and Dosage

 

The Canelos scrape the green pith from split stems, press this, and ingest it when it is swollen with water (Whitten 1985, 155).

In Ecuador, the juice pressed from the pith of a 5 cm long, finger-thick piece of stem is used as a “prophetic” dose (Metzner 1992). The juice is drunk with some water.

The dried leaves and flowers can be smoked alone or in smoking blends (cf. Brugmansia arboreaBrugmansia suaveolens).

Ritual Use

 

The shamans of the Canelo Indians use angel’s trumpet to establish contact with their spirit helpers and animal spirits. With their aid, they are able to detect sorcerers who carry out harmful magic in secret and magically send “worms” and other diseases into their victims’ bodies (Whitten 1985). In Ecuador, the juice of the plant is ingested to induce prophetic dreams that can then be interpreted as portents concerning the next phase of one’s life (Metzner 1992).

The seeds are used as an inebriating additive to chicha (maize beer), which is consumed at village festivals and religious rituals.

In Mexico, the Huichol apparently use this angel’s trumpet in a manner similar to Solandra spp.

Artifacts

 

Kiéri plants are sometimes depicted in the visionary art of the Huichol (see Solandra spp.).

Medicinal Use

 

Identical to the use of Brugmansia candida

Constituents

 

Golden angel’s trumpet contains large amounts of tropane alkaloids. The total alkaloid content was found to be 0.9%, with the main alkaloid scopolamine (hyoscine) making up some 80% of the mix (Plowman 1981, 440). In addition, apoatropine, 3α-tigloyloxyltropane-6β-ol, tigloidine, 6β-acetoxy-3α-tigloyloxyltropane, apohyoscine, hyoscyamine/atropine, norhyoscyamine/noratro-pine, 6β-hydroxyhyoscyamine, and tropane-3α-ol are also present (el Imam and Evans 1990, 149*).

 

The luminous yellow-gold blossom of the relatively rare yellow angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia aurea).

 

Effects

 

This species has been reported to produce intense dreams of a prophetic nature (Metzner 1992). Apart from this, the general effects are similar to those of Brugmansia candida.

Commercial Forms and Regulations

 

See Brugmansia arborea.

“Most of the ethnographic reports about tree daturas list the species used under the name Brugmansia (Daturaarborea (L.) Lagerh. This name is assigned without distinction to every white-flowered Datura. While this species is indeed used with great pleasure, it is one of the rarer species. It usually grows in the higher regions of Ecuador and south toward Bolivia. Brugmansia aurea Lagerh. is used much more commonly. This plant grows at altitudes between 2,000 and 3,000 meters, primarily in the northern Andes of Venezuela and in the south toward Ecuador, where it is frequently found along roadsides, rivers, and drainage ditches. The flowers are also sometimes golden yellow.”

 

TIMOTHY PLOWMAN “BRUGMANSIA (BAUM-DATURA) IN SÜDAMERIKA” [BRUGMANSIA (DATURA TREE) IN SOUTH AMERICA] (1981, 439)

 

Literature

 

See also the entries for the other Brugmansia species, scopolamine, and tropane alkaloids.

 

Lagerheim, Gustav. 1893. Eine neue, goldgelbe Brugmansia. Gartenflora 42:33–35.

 

Metzner, Ralph. 1992. Divinatory dreams induced by tree datura. In Yearbook for ethnomedicine and the study of consciousness 1:193–98. Berlin: VWB.

 

Plowman, Timothy. 1981. Brugmansia (Baum-Datura) in Südamerika. In Rausch und Realität, ed. G. Völger, 2:436–43. Cologne: Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum.

 

Whitten, Norman. 1985. Sicuanga runa. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

 

Brugmansia x candida Persoon

 

White Angel’s Trumpet

 

Family

 

Solanaceae (Nightshade Family); Subfamily Solanoideae, Datureae Tribe, Brugmansia Section

Forms and Subspecies

 

This quite variable angel’s trumpet may be a natural hybrid between Brugmansia aurea and Brugmansia versicolor (Giulietti et al. 1993). There is a white form and a form that produces peach-colored flowers.

A form cultivated by the Sibundoy Indians that has tiny, stunted leaves has been described under the name Datura candida (Pers.) Saff. cv. Munchira; the “normal” form was referred to as Datura candida(Pers.) Saff. cv. Biangan (Schultes 1979b, 147f.*). Additional forms include Datura candida cv. Quinde, Datura candida cv. Andres, D. candida cv. Ocre, D. candida cv. Amaron, and D. candida cv. Salaman (Bristol et al. 1969).

A form used commercially and ornamentally is known by the name Datura candida cv. Flintham Hall (Imam and Evans 1990*).

Methysticodendron amesianum, which Richard Evans Schultes (1955) described as a new genus and species, is now known to be nothing more than a “monstrous” cultivar (Bristol 1965, 272*). It may be best described as Brugmansia x candida f. Culebra.

From Peru, the following forms, all of which are used for psychoactive purposes (cf. Trichocereus pachanoi, cimora), have been described:

Brugmansia x candida f. Cimora oso

Brugmansia x candida f. Cimora galga

Brugmansia x candida f. Cimora toto curandera

Synonyms

 

Brugmansia candida Pers.

Datura affinis Saff.

Datura arborea Ruíz et Pav. non L.

Datura aurea x D. versicolor

Datura candida (Pers.) Saff.

Datura x candida (Pers.) Saff.

Datura pittieri Saff. Methysticodendron amesianum Schultes

Folk Names

 

Almizclillo, amarón, andaqui, biangán, biangán borrachera, borachero, borrachera, borrachera de agua, borrachero (Spanish, “inebriator”),59 borracherushe, buyés, buyés borrachera, buyés borracherushe, cacao sabanero, cambanda, campana (Spanish, “bell”), campanilla (Spanish, “little bell”), 60 cari, chamico,61 chontaruco, chontaruco borrachera, cimora,62 cucu, culebra, culebraborrachero (Spanish, “snake inebriant”), danta (“tapir”), danta borrachera, flor de campana (Spanish, “bell flower”), floripondio, floripondio blanco, goon’-ssi-an borrachero (Kamsá), guamuco blanco, guamuco floripondio, huama, kampaana wits (Huastec, “bell of the mountain”), kampachu (Quechua), kampána nichim (Tzeltal, “bell flower”), kin-de-borrachero (Inga), lengua de tigre (“tongue of the jaguar”), lipa-ca-tu-ue (Chontal), maikoa, mets-kwai borrachero (Masá, “jaguar inebriant”), misha, mitskway borrachero, munchira, mutscuai, ngunsiana, nitkwai boracero (Kamsá), nit-waí-boracero (Inga), palpanichium, po:bpihy (Mixe), queen of the night, quinchora borrachera, quinde, quinde borrachero, reinweißer stechapfel, Sta. Maria wits (Huastec, “St. Mary’s flower”), salamán, salamanga, salvanje, tecomaxochit (Náhuatl), trombita (Spanish,“little trumpet”), ts’ak tsimin (Lacandon, “horse medicine”), tu:tk-hiks (Mixe), white angel’s trumpet

History

 

In 1935, H. García-Barriga collected the first specimen of this species in the Sibundoy Valley of Colombia (located at an altitude of 2,200 meters). Later, numerous forms were described for the Sibundoy region on the basis of the Indian ethnobotanical classification of the angel’s trumpets. Datura (Brugmansiacandida cv. Culebra was originally thought to represent a different genus and was described by Richard Evans Schultes under the name Methysticodendron amesianum (Schultes 1955). This form has very long, thin leaves that look like snakes; for this reason, the Sibundoy Indians call this form culebra-borrachero and the Kamsá call it mitskway-borrachero, both of which mean “snake inebriant” (Schultes 1979b, 148f.*). It is not known when this ethnobotanically significant species spread into Central America.

Distribution

 

The plant is originally from Colombia or Ecuador (Franquemont et al. 1990, 99*) and is still common in these areas. It is usually found at altitudes between 1,500 and 2,500 meters. It was apparently introduced into Mexico in pre-Columbian times (Berlin et al. 1974, 280*).

Cultivation

 

Propagation can take place only by cuttings, although this is very simple. The stem is simply placed in the ground and watered (Bristol 1965, 276*). Apart from this, cultivation is the same as with Brugmansia arborea. Nitrogen-rich soils have been found to increase alkaloid production in the plant.

Appearance

 

Growing to heights of up to 8 meters, this treelike shrub always produces flowers but only very rarely produces fruits. The smooth fruits are slender, spindle-shaped, and pointed at the end. They are somewhat more slender and longer than the fruits of Brugmansia aurea (which is how the two species may be distinguished). This angel’s trumpet typically bears snow-white flowers that hang almost straight down, are often double, and can reach a length of more than 30 cm. In southern Mexico, the flowers of this species sometimes have a pink margin. The form of the flowers is so variable that it is often very difficult to make a definite species identification.

Brugmansia x candida is very often confused with Brugmansia aurea and has even been regarded as a synonym for the latter. It can also be mistaken for Brugmansia arborea.

Psychoactive Material

 

—Leaves

—Flowers

Preparation and Dosage

 

Shamans in Colombia use primarily cold-water extracts of the leaves. Normally, only pairs of leaves—and even numbers of pairs—are used. Depending upon the size of the leaves, the Sibundoy Indians regard two to twenty-four (= twelve pairs) leaves per person as a shamanic dosage. For “normal” people, this dosage would likely result in extreme delirium and dangerous toxic symptoms.

In the Kamsá tradition, the “jaguar inebriant,” which is made from the fresh leaves of Brugmansia x candida f. Culebra (= Methysticodendron amesianum), can be produced and drunk only during a waning moon. No more than one hour before they are to be ingested, the leaves are plucked from the shrub, crushed, and placed in cold water for about half an hour. Directly before the extract is consumed, it is warmed a little and stirred, but never boiled. The liquid is then strained off. The shamans never drink all of the liquid at once but, rather, take a few sips at a time over a period of some three hours. This procedure evidently enables them to achieve the dosage that is appropriate for them. If the shaman has not fallen into trance after three hours, a helper will prepare another drink and give small sips of it to him until the desired state of consciousness has been achieved (Schultes 1955, 9).

Northern Peruvian curanderos (folk healers) drink a decoction of the leaves to induce a clairvoyant trance. The freshly pressed juice of the leaves and/or flowers is also ingested alone or mixed with alcoholand sugar (Bristol 1965, 285*).

In Peru, at least three cultivated forms (see above) are used as one of the main ingredients in the psychoactive drink known as cimora and as additives to preparations of San Pedro (Trichocereus pachanoi).

The dried leaves and flowers can be smoked alone or mixed with other plants such as Cannabis indica and Nicotiana rustica to produce smoking blends (cf. Brugmansia arborea).

Ritual Use

 

In Colombia (Sibundoy), extracts of the leaves are drunk at shamanic and religious ceremonies of the Kamsá and Inga Indians, primarily to learn about methods for performing witchcraft, divination, prophecy, and shamanic therapy.

Among the Kamsá, the form described as Methysticodendron amesianum is known as mets-kwai borrachero or mitskway borrachero, the “jaguar inebriant” (Schultes 1955, 10). Corresponding to the strongest of all shamanic animals, this plant thus represents a very potent shamanic vehicle (cf. Nymphaea amplaSolanum spp.). The shamans of the Kamsá use this agent almost exclusively for divination and prophecy. They normally turn to it only when faced with a truly difficult case, for it can occur that the body of the shaman who has used it lies in a comatose or delirious state for two to three days while his soul explores the secret corners of nonordinary reality. During this procedure, an assistant is always present. He does not merely watch over the shaman’s body but also pays heed to any messages the shaman may utter (Schultes 1955, 8f.).

In modern Mexico, angel’s trumpets are used as alternatives to the herbaceous thorn apples (Datura innoxiaDatura stramonium) (Heffern 1974, 100*). In some Mixe settlements, angel’s trumpets are used for divination and diagnosis (Lipp 1991, 187*). Three flowers is the suggested effective dosage, although six flowers may be administered if the desired effects are not achieved with three. The fresh flowers are macerated in hot water and then pressed with a cloth (190).

The Huastec, who live on the Gulf of Mexico, believe that a person who has eaten Brugmansia candida leaves “sees” reality (Alcorn 1984, 624*). The Tzeltal, who live in the Selva Lacandona (Chiapas, Mexico), smoke the dried leaves (with or without tobacco, Nicotiana rustica) when they wish to perform divinations (Rätsch 1994c*).

 

Cultivated plants of Brugmansia x candida often develop double flowers.

 

“Our ancestors were accustomed to it, so it is said,

to drink many medicines, even more than we do.

By drinking these medicines they could see, so it is said,

the forms in which things appear. And once they drank yagé

and angel’s trumpets,

and suddenly, so it is said,

a falcon flew past,

and the bird fell dead in the courtyard.

And then they said: O God,

what is going to pass?

And as they asked this,

the best among the drinkers of medicine answered:

People from another world will come,

flying, and they come to drive us from our land.”

FRANCISCO TANDIOY

 

IN VON DEN WURZELN DER KULTUR [FROM THE ROOTS OF CULTURE]

 

(RÄTSCH 1991b, 161*)

 

 

The leaves of the cultivated “snake plant” angel’s trumpet (cv. Culebra) are often grossly deformed.

 

Artifacts

 

The Mexican art nouveau artist Saturnino Herrán (1887–1919) painted a fresco, Nuestros dioses, in the center of which Coatlicue, the Aztec earth goddess, is portrayed adorned with angel’s trumpets (López Velarde 1988, 113). During the art nouveau movement, glass lamp shades were manufactured in the shape of angel’s trumpet flowers (cf. Brugmansia arborea). In a cloth print (Paris, 1896) based upon a design by Alphonse Mucha, Brugmansia x candida appears as a floral element playfully surrounding a young woman.

The prophetic powers of the angel’s trumpet are portrayed in a theater piece by Francisco Tandioy (McDowell 1989, 139).

Medicinal Use

 

In the Sibundoy Valley, the fresh flowers and leaves of Methysticodendron amesianum are heated in water and applied as a plaster to treat tumors, swelling, swollen knees, et cetera. Medicine men sometimes bathe patients suffering from fever and chills in a warm decoction of the leaves and flowers (Schultes 1955, 9f.).

In Colombia, preparations of Brugmansia candida are used to treat muscle cramps, erysipelas (a skin inflammation), swollen inflammations, and colds. The Tzeltal Indians of Chiapas (Mexico) use the leaves to treat diseases that are caused by “winds” in the body.

Constituents

 

All forms of Brugmansia x candida contain tro-pane alkaloids. The primary constituent is scopolamine (hyoscine); also present are meteloidine and hyoscyamine. The Culebra form (= Methysticodendron amesianum Schultes) contains hyoscyamine, scopolamine, and atropine; L-scopolamine makes up 80% of the plant’s total alkaloid content (Bristol 1965, 286*). The young leaves have the highest concentration of alkaloids, up to 0.56% total content (Griffin 1976). The cultivar Flintham Hall was found to contain 0.55% total alkaloids, with scopolamine the primary constituent. Also present are 6β-acetoxy-3α-tigloyloxyltropane, tigloidine, 6β-tigloyloxyltropane-3α-ol, 3α-tigloyloxyltropane-6β-ol, hyoscyamine/ atropine, norhyoscyamine/noratropine, 6β-hydroxyhyoscyamine, and tropane-3α-ol (el Imam and Evans 1990, 149*).

Effects

 

The Sibundoy Indians say that they encounter numerous giant snakes in the visions they receive while under the influence of this powerful magical plant. One Sibundoy provided the following description of his first encounter with the “snake plant”:

 

The first time, I drank six leaves [of the Culebra form] at night. I became drunk. I saw forests full of trees, people from other places, animals, tree stumps, meadows full of all kinds of snakes which came towards me at the edge of the pasture—all in green—to bite me. As the inebriation became stronger, the house began to lean against the rest of the world, as did the things in the house. . . . But the snakes still wanted to kill me. (Bristol 1965, 283*)

 

Apart from this, the effects of this plant should not differ much from those of the other species of Brugmansia (see Brugmansia arborea).

Commercial Forms and Regulations

 

See Brugmansia arborea.

Literature

 

See also the entries for the other Brugmansia species, Trichocereus pachanoi, cimora, scopolamine, and tropane alkaloids.

 

Bristol, Melvin L., W. C. Evans, and J. F. Lampard. 1969. The alkaloids of the genus Datura, section Brugmansia. Part VI: Tree datura drugs (Datura candida cvs.) of the Colombian Sibundoy. Lloydia 32 (2): 123–30. (Includes a listing of additional literature.)

 

Giulietti, A. M., A. J. Parr, and M. J. C. Rhodes. 1993. Tropane alkaloid production in transformed root cultures of Brugmansia candida. Planta Medica 59:428–31.

 

Griffin, W. J. 1966. Alkaloids in Datura, section Brugmansia: The peach flowered form of Datura candida sens. lat.. Planta Medica 14:468–74.

 

———. 1976. Agronomic evaluation of Datura candida—a new source of hyoscine. Economic Botany 30:361–69.

 

López Velarde, Ramón. 1988. Saturnino Herrán. Mexico City: Fondo Editorial de la Plastica Mexicana.

 

McDowell, John Holmes. 1989. Sayings of the ancestors: The spiritual life of the Sibundoy Indians. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky.

 

Pachter, I. J., and A. F. Hopkinson. 1960. Note on the alkaloids of Methysticodendron amesianum. Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Science Ed. 49:621–22.

 

Schultes, Richard Evans. 1955. A new narcotic genus from the Amazon slopes of the Colombian Andes. Botanical Museum Leaflets 17:1–11.

 

Brugmansia x insignis (Barbosa Rodrigues) Lockwood ex Schultes

 

Magnificent Angel’s Trumpet

 

Family

 

Solanaceae (Nightshade Family); Subfamily Solanoideae, Datureae Tribe, Brugmansia Section

Forms and Subspecies

 

The Siona make a distinction among at least four “species” of this plant, the names of which refer to totemic and shamanic elements (Vickers and Plowman 1984, 29*):

muhu pehí—“thunder angel’s trumpet”

semé pehí—“Paca angel’s trumpet”

sesé pehí—“white-lipped peccary angel’s trumpet”

tãkiyaí pehí—tãki-cats angel’s trumpet”

Synonyms

 

Datura insignis Barb. Rodr. in Vellosia

Datura x insignis Barb. Rodr.

Datura suaveolens x D. versicolor

Folk Names

 

Ain, ain-va-i (Kofán), angel’s trumpet, danta borrachera, floripondio, guando, hayapa, huanduj, jayapa, ku-a-va-u, ku-wá-oo (Inga, “pink angel’s trumpet”), magnificent angel’s trumpet, maricaua, muhu pehí, pehí (Secoya), pimpinella borrachera, saaro (Matsigenka), sacha-toé, toa-toé, tree-datura, ts’ak tsimin (Lacandon, “tapir medicine”), wandú (Quechua), xayápa (Mashco)

History

 

The Amazon Indians of Ecuador use the stem of this angel’s trumpet as a hallucinogen. The Mashco, who live in the southwestern region of the Amazon (Peru), are composed of two tribes (Huachipaire and Zapiteri). Their most important shamanic plant is the magnificent angel’s trumpet, which they call xayápa.

Distribution

 

This hybrid of Brugmansia suaveolens and Brugmansia versicolor was likely the result of cultivation. The plant is from the West Amazon, and many Indians plant it in their house gardens (Vickers and Plowman 1984, 29*). The species has spread into other tropical areas. It is frequently found growing wild in the Selva Lacandona (Chiapas, Mexico).

Cultivation

 

In Amazonia, this angel’s trumpet is propagated with cuttings. The Indians take a piece of stem or branch approximately 50 cm long and simply stick this into the moist ground (Califano and Fernández Distel 1982, 131).

Appearance

 

This species is most likely the result of a cross between Brugmansia suaveolens and Brugmansia versicolor (Schultes 1977b, 124*) and looks exactly like an intermediate stage between the two species. It is most easily recognized by its flowers. They are convex, like those of Brugmansia suaveolens, but not as obese, and they hang almost straight down, although not as steeply as those of Brugmansia versicolor.

In the tropics, Brugmansia x insignis can grow into a proper and heavily branching tree that can reach a height of over 5 meters. In Amazonia, it blossoms between November and April. The flowers exude a potent perfume in the evening. This cultivar almost never develops fruits (Califano and Fernández Distel 1982, 131).

In addition to the yellowish-reddish blooming form, there is also a form with luminously yellow blossoms that is easily mistaken for Brugmansia aurea. This species is also easily confused with Brugmansia suaveolens and Brugmansia versicolor.

Psychoactive Material

 

—Stems

—Leaves

—Flowers

“The origin myth of the Huachipaire has the following to say about xayápa [Brugmansia x insignis]: Xayápa was a man who had come to the settlement and announced that he would remain as a medicine. He then changed himself into a plant.”

 

MARIO CALIFANO AND ALICIA FERNÁNDEZ DISTEL

 

“THE USE OF A HALLUCINOGENOUS PLANT AMONG THE MASHCO (SOUTHWESTERN AMAZONIA, PERU)”

 

(1982, 135)

 

Preparation and Dosage

 

The Secoya grate the stem and boil it for an entire day. They then pour off the decoction and boil it down some more. Unfortunately, no precise information about dosages is known, as use of the plant is restricted to knowledgeable shamans (Vickers and Plowman 1984, 29*).

The Siona and Secoya also use this angel’s trumpet as an ayahuasca additive. The leaves are burned to ashes in a pot and powdered. This powder is mixed into the finished ayahuasca to potentiate the visions (Vickers and Plowman 1984, 29*). The leaves are also used as an ayahuasca additive in the area of Loreto (Peru) (Schultes and Raffauf 1990, 422*).

 

The cultivar Brugmansia x insignis cv. Orange produces beautiful trumpet-shaped yellow flowers.

 

 

Brugmansia x insignis is a highly significant shamanic plant among the peoples of the rain forests of northern South America and southern Mexico. (Wild plant, photographed in the Selva Lacandona, Mexico)

 

The Kofán drink an infusion of the leaves for psychoactive purposes. An infusion of six leaves in 200 ml of water is sufficient to induce a hypnotic state (Schultes and Raffauf 1990, 422*). The Kofán also drip juice pressed from fresh flowers into the nostrils of their hunting dogs “so that they can hunt better” (421).

The Mashco prepare a hallucinogenic drink from this plant. Both the drink and the plant itself are known as xayápa. The Mashco take stalks of various thicknesses, cut these into pieces about 70 cm in length, and carry them into the ritual house, which is located outside of the settlement in the jungle. There, the bark is peeled from the pieces of stalk, pounded, and boiled in water for several hours. The long period of boiling yields a thick concentrate that possesses “enough hallucinogenic power.” The preparation of xayápa is usually carried out by a knowledgeable—typically older—person who also assists the xayápa drinker during his journey (Califano and Fernández Distel 1982, 135). The shamans of the Huachipaire Mashco also ingest the drink in the form of an enema (140).

Ritual Use

 

The Huachipaire Mashco have several rules associated with the ritual consumption of the xayápa drink that must be observed without exception: Ingestion must take place at night; the drinker must lie on the ground or a platform, uncovered, with open arms, and be able to observe the nocturnal sky above; the liquid must be drunk with the lips directly from the pot without touching the pot; the assistant or assistants may not speak to the drinker, even when the latter encourages them to do so; when the sun rises, the drinker must be dipped completely naked into the water of a nearby stream or river so that the last effects of the drink dissipate. In the weeks following ingestion, the drinker must adhere to a specific diet. In no case may he consume certain fishes and birds, bananas, and sugarcane, lest he fall victim to fever, skin spots, or stomach ailments. The drink is customarily ingested to localize a lost or stolen object, discern the future, heal illnesses, or renew the body. The Mashco believe that under the influence of Brugmansia, the body is renewed or rejuvenated and thereby healed of all diseases (Califano and Fernández Distel 1982, 135f.). A longer life can thus be expected.

In Colombia and Peru, shamans also ingest preparations of angel’s trumpet for diagnostic purposes (Schultes and Raffauf 1990, 422*).

Artifacts

 

See Brugmansia arborea.

Medicinal Use

 

The fresh leaves are tied to inflamed or painful areas. The freshly pressed plant juice is also used to treat pains. An infusion of the leaves is drunk as a sedative (Schultes and Raffauf 1990, 421f.*).

Constituents

 

This angel’s trumpet contains the tropane alkaloids atropinescopolamine, and hyoscine. The bark appears to be particularly rich in alkaloids (Califano and Fernández Distel 1982, 134).

Effects

 

The Mashco granted permission to anthropologists Mario Califano and Alicia Fernández Distel to try the xayápa drink several times under their instruction and supervision. They drank approximately one quarter of a liter of the bitter, almost viscous drink. This resulted in a series of hallucinations pertaining to the “social life that we had experienced a few days earlier,” and they saw family members and friends approach them as if from a different world. The effects lasted a total of twelve hours and were characterized by visual hallucinations, illusory feelings, acoustic and olfactory hallucinations, and a profound dryness of the mouth. They occasionally fell into periods of sleep from sixty to ninety minutes long, with prophetic dreams, but they also experienced nervous discomfort and euphoria (Califano and Fernández Distel 1982, 137f.).

The Lacandon (Chiapas, Mexico) say that horses who have eaten the leaves of this angel’s trumpet become inebriated “as if they were drunk.”

“The pith [of this angel’s trumpet] gives visions of the future and makes it possible for one to hear the words that a person has said to other people.”

 

A KOFÁN INDIAN

 

IN THE HEALING FOREST (SCHULTES AND RAFFAUF 1990, 421*)

 

Commercial Forms and Regulations

 

See Brugmansia arborea.

Literature

 

See also the entries for the other Brugmansia species, scopolamine, and tropane alkaloids.

 

Califano, Mario, and A. Fernández Distel. 1982. The use of a hallucinogenous plant among the Mashco (southwestern Amazonia, Peru). Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 107:129–43.

 

Brugmansia sanguinea (Ruíz et Pavón) D. Don

 

Bloodred Angel’s Trumpet

 

Family

 

Solanaceae (Nightshade Family); Subfamily Solanoideae, Datureae Tribe, Brugmansia Section

Forms and Subspecies

 

One form from Sibundoy that has heavily serrated leaves has been described under the name Datura sanguinea Ruíz et Pav. cv. Guamuco (Schultes 1979b, 148).

Datura vulcanicola [syn. Brugmansia vulcanicola (Barclay) Lockw.], a species originally described by A. S. Barclay (1959), is now regarded as a subspecies: Brugmansia sanguinea ssp. vulcanicola(Riviera et al. 1989). The variety [or cultivar β] flava Dunal is a yellow-blooming variety (= Brugmansia lutea = Datura rosei) cultivated primarily in Colombia. A form with pure red flowers occurs in the highlands of southern Colombia and northern Ecuador and is referred to as Brugmansia sanguinea cv. Sangre. In Sibundoy, there is a cultivar Brugmansia sanguinea cv. Guamuco.

A form recently discovered in eastern Ecuador (Pelileo, Napo Province) at an altitude of approximately 2,500 meters appears to be an intermediate between Brugmansia sanguinea and Brugmansia sanguinea ssp. vulcanicola(possibly it is a hybrid between the species and the subspecies).

In southern Chile, there is also a form whose flowers are almost entirely green; the outer margin of the calyx is slightly red, and occasionally almost purple.

Synonyms

 

Brugmansia bicolor Pers.

Brugmansia lutea Hort. ex Gardeners

Brugmansia vulcanicola (Barclay) Lockwood

Datura (Brugmansiarosei Saff.

Datura sanguinea Ruíz et Pav.

Datura vulcanicola Barclay

Folk Names

 

Belladonna tree, bloodred angel’s trumpet, blutroter stechapfel, borrachero, borrachero rojo, bovachero, campanilla encarnada, chamico, el guantug (Ecuador), floripondio, floripondio boliviano, floripondio encarnado, guamuco (Kamsá, Inga),63 guamuco floripondio, guamucu borrachera (Inga), guando, guantug, guántug, huaca (Quechua, “grave”), huacacachu, huántug, humoco, koo-wá-oo, misha colorada, misha curandera, misha huarhuar, misha rastrera, perecillo, poroporo, puca campancho (Quechua, “red Brugmansia”), puca-campanilla, qotu (Quechua), tonca, tonga, yerba de huaca

History

 

In Colombia, this sacred plant was used in pre-Columbian times in ritual contexts in the cult of the sun. It was apparently this species of angel’s trumpet that José de Acosta mentioned in 1590 under the name floripondio. The incredible effects of the tonga drink, prepared from Brugmansia sanguinea, were first described in 1846 by the Swiss Johann J. von Tschudi (Hartwich 1911, 519*). Today, shamans in Ecuador continue to utilize the plant as a hallucinogen. In Peru, the seeds are still used as popular additives to beerchicha, and coffee (cf. Coffea arabica).

This angel’s trumpet is now also known as floripondio boliviana because its flowers have the same colors as the Bolivian flag: red, yellow, and green (Bastien 1987, 114*).

Distribution

 

This rather cold-resistant species is distributed throughout the Andes, from Colombia to Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia and into southern Chile. It is usually found around 2,000 meters above sea level. On Chiloé, an island off the southern coast of Chile, it is found at altitudes as low as sea level. In Charazani, Cochabamba, and the area of La Paz (Bolivia), it is frequently cultivated as an ornamental (Bastein 1987, 114*).

The subspecies Brugmansi sanguinea ssp. vulcanicola is found only in the mountainous region around the Puracé volcano in Colombia at altitudes above 3,000 meters (Rivera et al. 1989).

Cultivation

 

This species is propagated through seeds or cuttings. Of all species of Brugmansia, this species is most easily grown from seed. It is best to pre-germinate the seeds, e.g., in moist cloths or in thoroughly moistened soil in seedbeds or greenhouses. The seedlings should be transplanted with care (into pots where the climate is too cold for outdoor planting).

This angel’s trumpet is cultivated commercially in Ecuador to produce scopolamine for the pharmaceutical industry and thus represents one of the world’s primary sources of this compound (Rivera et al. 1989).

Appearance

 

This perennial, heavily branching angel’s trumpet forms a woody stem and can grow from 2 to 5 meters in height. The margins of the gray-green, hairy leaves are coarsely serrated and are usually smaller than those of other Brugmansia species. The bloodred angel’s trumpet does not exude a scent at night, an important criterion for recognition. The blossoms do not produce any perfume, which enables the species to be very clearly identified. The flowers are normally greenish at their base, yellow in the middle, and red at their margin. But there are also green-red, pure yellow, yellow-red, and almost entirely red varieties.

 

Iconographic element from the pre-Columbian Tello obelisks; possibly a representation of the bloodred angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia sanguinea) with its characteristically shaped fruits.

 

The oval-obese, pointed fruits have a smooth surface and are usually half-covered by the dried calyx. This species produces fruits more regularly than does any other species of Brugmansia. In contrast to the normal form, the subspecies vulcanicola produces smooth seeds.

This angel’s trumpet is the most easily identifiable of all Brugmansia species. Nevertheless, it is still occasionally confused with Brugmansia aurea and Brugmansia suaveolens. It has even been mistaken for Iochroma fuchsioides.

Psychoactive Material

 

—Leaves

—Fruits/seeds

 

Indians of the Ecuadoran highlands believe that this angel’s trumpet provides a toxic or inebriating honey when bees collect its nectar.

Preparation and Dosage

 

The seeds are used as an additive in preparations of Trichocereus pachanoi (cf. cimora) and to fortify chicha. The fruits or seeds are boiled to produce a decoction known as tonga. Only shamans are allowed to drink tonga, for it is said that it would cause normal people to lose their mind. For information about dosages, see Brugmansia arborea.

The folk healers (curanderos) of northern Peru add the leaves and flowers to their San Pedro drinks (cf. Trichocereus pachanoi) so that they may “see” better. The woody stems are used to produce magic wands for mesa (or table; a temporary altar used by curanderos) rituals (Giese 1989, 251*).

The dried leaves may be smoked alone or in smoking blends. They are also a component of South American asthma cigarettes, which are smoked to relieve the symptoms of asthma.

Ritual Use

 

In pre-Spanish and late colonial times, the priests in the sun temple of Sogamoza (north of Bogotá, Colombia) ingested tonga during religious rituals (Lockwood 1979, 149). During the pre-Spanish period, the Chibchas gave the widows and slaves of deceased rulers a mixture of Brugmansiachicha (maize beer), and tobacco extract (Nicotiana tabacum) so that they would be sedated but still alive as they were buried along with the deceased (Lockwood 1979, 150). Contemporary shamans and diviners still use tonga to induce a prophetic trance, to diagnose diseases, and to localize lost objects as well as to divine the future.

In the Darién and Chocó regions, the seeds were boiled to produce a decoction that was administered with chicha to children so that they could enter a clairvoyant state in which they would receive the power to “see” gold and treasures (Lewin 1980 [orig. pub. 1929], 182*).

In many parts of South America (e.g., southern Chile), the seeds may be secretly mixed into a person’s coffee (cf. Coffee arabica) to harm, induce aphrodisiac effects in, or make fun of him or her. Depending upon the dosage, the victim may fall into a coma, become sexually aroused, or carry out comical stereotypical acts (cf. Scopolia carniolica).

Artifacts

 

This or other species (cf. Brugmansia arborea) appear to be represented on various objects of the pre-Columbian Chavín culture (Mulvany de Peñaloza 1984*).

An Indian drawing of a woman under a borrachero tree has been incorrectly interpreted as a depiction of Brugmansia vulcanicola (Schultes and Hofmann 1992, 128*). The species shown is in factIochroma fuchsioides.

In Sri Lanka, the beautiful flowers are sometimes depicted on batiks.

Medicinal Use

 

In the Colombian Sibundoy Valley, flowers of the bloodred angel’s trumpet, leaves of the Culebra form of Brugmansia x candida, and the stems and leaves of Phenax integrifolius Webb. are macerated in water and made into a plaster for treating rheumatism. Heated leaves are also bound over swollen infections, and an infusion of the leaves is used to wash inflamed areas (Schultes and Raffauf 1990, 422*). The leaves are also used in Peruvian folk medicine for treating inflammations (Chavez V. 1977, 189*). The healers of the Callawaya use the leaves externally to treat rheumatism and arthritis (Bastien 1987, 114*).

 

The typical flower shape and color of Brugmansia sanguinea

 

 

The seeds of Brugmansia sanguinea are similar to the seeds of Datura innoxia but are considerably larger (two to three times as large).

 

 

The relatively rare Brugmansia sanguinea ssp. vulcanicola of Ecuador

 

 

A shaman with a lance and animal spirit (bird) receives a branch with angel’s trumpet flowers and fruits from a woman. (Taken from a Keru lacquer picture of the colonial period, late sixteenth century, South America)

 

Constituents

 

The entire plant contains tropane alkaloids. The flowers contain chiefly atropine and only traces of scopolamine (hyoscine). The seeds contain approximately 0.17% total alkaloids; of this, 78% is scopolamine. The alkaloids apohyoscine, hyoscyamine, choline, tropine, and pseudotropine and two unknown alkaloids have also been detected (Leary 1970). The roots contain the highest alkaloid concentration as well as 0.08% littorine (Evans and Woolley 1969). This angel’s trumpet produces a psychoactive or toxic honey.

The subspecies Brugmansia sanguinea ssp. vulcanicola, which is native to Colombia, is especially rich in scopolamine and atropine. The flowers contain the highest concentrations of alkaloids (0.83%), followed by the fruits (0.74%), while the leaves contain only 0.4% (Rivera et al. 1989). This is probably the most potent of all Brugmansia species.

Effects

 

All parts of the plant produce strong hallucinations and delirium. The overall effects of this species are the same as those of the other Brugmansia species (cf. Brugmansia arborea).

Commercial Forms and Regulations

 

See Brugmansia arborea.

 

The ripe fruit of Brugmansia sanguinea.

 

 

The yellow-blooming variety Brugmansia sanguinea var. flava is also known by the names Brugmansia lutea and Datura chlorantha.

 

 

A green-blooming variety of Brugmansia sanguinea. (Photographed in southern Chile)

 

 

The fruit of Brugmansia sanguinea produces a large number of seeds. In South America, these are often used to fortify maize beer.

 

Literature

 

See also the entries for the other Brugmansia species, scopolamine, and tropane alkaloids.

 

Evans, W. C., V. A. Major, and M. Pethan. 1965. The alkaloids of the genus Datura, section Brugmansia III: Datura sanguinea R. and P. Planta Medica 13:353–58.

 

Evans, W. C., and Valerie A. Woolley. 1969. Biosynthesis of the (+)-2-hydroxy-3-phenylpropionic acid moiety of littorine in Datura sanguinea and Anthocercis littoreaPhytochemistry 8:2183–87.

 

Leary, John D. 1970. Alkaloids of the seeds of Datura sanguineaLloydia 33 (2): 264–66.

 

Rivera, A., E. Calderon, M. A. Gonzalez, S. Valbuena, and P. Joseph-Nathan. 1989. Brugmansia sanguinea subsp. vulcanicola, a good source of scopolamine. Fitoterapía 60 (6): 542–44.

 

Brugmansia suaveolens (H.B.K.) Berchtold et Presl

 

Aromatic Angel’s Trumpet

 

“The natives call it Huacacachuyerba de Huaca, or Borrachero and prepare from its fruits a potent narcotic drink known as tonga. Its effects are terrible. I once had the opportunity of seeing them in an Indian who wanted to contact the spirits of the ancestors. The horrible sight of this scene has burned itself so deeply into my memory that I will never forget it. Shortly after consuming the tonga, the man fell into a dark brooding, his eyes stared dully at the ground, his mouth was tightly, almost convulsively shut, his nostrils gaped widely, cold sweat covered his forehead and earthly pallid face, the jugular veins of his throat were swollen as thick as a finger, his chest rose slowly and gaspingly, his arms hung rigidly alongside his body. Then his eyes moistened and filled with great tears, his lips twitched slightly and convulsively, his carotid pounded visibly, his respiration accelerated, and his extremities made repeated automatic movements. This state may have lasted for a quarter of an hour, and then all of these manifestations increased in intensity. His now dry but completely reddened eyes rolled wildly in their sockets. All of his facial muscles were contorted in the most horrible fashion. A thick white foam emerged from between his half-opened lips. The pulse on his forehead and throat beat with terrible rapidity. His breath was shallow and unusually accelerated and was no longer able to lift his chest, which exhibited only a slight vibration. Copious amounts of sticky sweat covered his entire body, which was continuously shaken by the most horrible convulsions. His limbs were twisted in the most terrible way. A low, unintelligible murmuring alternated with a piercing and heart-rending scream, a muffled crying, and a deep groaning or moaning. Long did this terrible state last, until the severity of the symptoms diminished and calmness appeared. Immediately, women hurried over, washed the Indian’s entire body with cold water, and laid him comfortably onto several fleeces.

 

“There followed a peaceful sleep that lasted for several hours. That evening, I saw the man again as he was just describing his visions and his conversations with the spirits of his ancestors to a circle of attentive listeners. He appeared to be very exhausted and worn out, his eyes were glazed, his body slack, and his movements sluggish.

“In earlier times (and still today among the wild tribes), only the physicians and magicians made use of the thorn apple (Peruvian thorn apple = angel’s trumpet) to induce ecstasy when performing their conjurations, in which they pretended that this had enabled them to enter into a closer relationship to the gods and, as they put it, ‘to speak confidentially with the powerful spirits.’ But after Christianity suppressed the magicians and the belief in one god had spread widely, at least in appearance, the Indians themselves stated that they used the tonga to establish contact with the gods of their ancestors and to obtain from them insights into the treasures that were hidden in the graves (huacas). Hence the name: huacacachu (grave plant). The Mestizos use the plant for this purpose much more frequently than do the Indians, who have an unlimited awe of and veneration for the graves of their ancestors. The Cholos (mixtures of Indians with Chinos, Chinos are a mix of mulattos and Mestizos, Mestizos are a mix of whites and Indian women) very often give the pressed juice of the fruits of the thorn apple, mixed with chicha (an alcoholic drink, usually from maize), to the women as an aphrodisiac.”

JOHANN VON TSCHUDI REIZESKIZZEN [TRAVEL SKETCHES] (1846, 2:21f.)

 

Family

 

Solanaceae (Nightshade Family); Subfamily Solanoideae, Datureae Tribe, Brugmansia Section

Forms and Subspecies

 

One form with a very large calyx has been described under the name Datura suaveolens β macro-calyx Sendtner. The Shuar and Achuar know of several “species” of this Brugmansia; these cannot, however, be botanically distinguished (Bennett 1992, 493*, Descola 1996, 88*).

Synonyms

 

Datura gardneri Hooker

Datura suaveolens Humb. et Bonpl. ex Willd.

Folk Names

 

Ain-vai (Kofán), almizclillo, angel’s trumpet, aromatic angel’s trumpet, baikua, bikut, borrachero, campana, canachiari (Shipibo), chinki tukutai maikiua (Achuar, “angel’s trumpet to blow on small birds”), datura d’Egitti, datura d’Egypt, duftende engelstrompete, fleur trompette, flor de campana, floripondia, floripondio blanco, guando, huanduc (Quechua), ishauna (Zapara), juunt maikiua (Achuar, “large angel’s trumpet”), maikiua (Achuar), maikiuwa (Achuar/Shuar), maikoa (Jíbaro), maikua, maikuna, ohuetagi (Huaorani), peji (Secoya),sprengels engelstrompete, toá, toé, toé canachiari (Shipibo), trompeta del juicio, ts’ak tsimin (Lacandon, “horse medicine”), tsuaak, tsuak, tu-to-a-vá-a (Kofán, “white angel’s trumpet”), vau (Kofán), wahashupa (Sharanahua), weiße engelstrompete, wohlriechender stechapfel, yawa maikiua (Achuar, “dog’s angel’s trumpet”), yumi maikiua (Achuar, “heaven’s water angel’s trumpet”)

History

 

In South America, aromatic angel’s trumpet has apparently been used for ritual and medicinal purposes since pre-Columbian times. It is possible that this species may have been known even in pre-Spanish Mexico; there, it continues to possess a certain significance as a hallucinogenic shamanic plant. This angel’s trumpet was first described by Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859). Because of its beauty and its bewitchingly delicious scent, it is now the most commonly cultivated species of Brugmansia. Among the Jíbaro Indians, it has important meaning as a ritual inebriant (Descola 1996*).

Distribution

 

Aromatic angel’s trumpet is found throughout the Andes and Cordilleras as well as Central America. Through cultivation, it has spread into other regions of the world. It is now part of the flora of Nepal and can be found in the Himalayas at altitudes of up to 1,700 meters (Polunin and Stainton 1985, 289*).

Cultivation

 

The simplest method of cultivation is through cuttings (see Brugmansia arborea). This angel’s trumpet can also be grown from seed. In northern climates, sowing (possible throughout the year) should be done in pots on a window ledge at temperatures of 20 to 25°C (time to germination is two to three weeks). A sterile, porous substrate, e.g., sandy, loose soil, works best. The soil must be kept well moistened. The plant should be transplanted while still small into a large pot filled with peat-rich soil or into the garden. Prune back in late fall and allow to overwinter in the cellar. Water the plant thoroughly in the spring. Leaves will appear again quite quickly. The plant requires much water and thrives best in semi-shaded areas.

Appearance

 

This large perennial bush with woody stems is often heavily branched and can grow as tall as 5 meters. It has very large, usually smooth-margined leaves that are oval and pointed at the ends. The flowers, which can grow as long as 30 cm, hang down at an angle and are usually pink. The calyx and corolla each have five points (an important point for classification). During the evening and at night, the flowers exude a bewitching and inebriating scent. The fruits, which form only very rarely, are short and spindle-shaped with an irregularly gibbous surface and contain large (approximately 1 cm) light brown seeds. This species also occurs in a form with pure white blooms (e.g., in Argentina). In the Himalayas, only the white-blooming form is found (Polunin and Stainton 1985, 289*).

This angel’s trumpet is easily mistaken for Brugmansia x insignis.

Psychoactive Material

 

—Leaves

—Flowers

—Stems

—Juice pressed from the fresh stems

—Seeds

 

The typical flower of Brugmansia suaveolens. (Photographed in Chiapas, Mexico)

 

 

A rare pure-white-blooming form of Brugmansia suaveolens. (Photographed in northwest Argentina)

 

Preparation and Dosage

 

The fresh leaves, seeds, and flowers may be eaten fresh or drunk in the form of an infusion. This tea is sometimes mixed with alcoholic beverages. The fresh flowers are also added to milk and drunk (Hall et al. 1978, 251). To produce an aphrodisiac tea, pour hot water over one fresh flower and allow this to steep for ten minutes. The fresh leaves can be added to white rum, tequila, or other types of spirits (alcohol). The leaves also can be made into a decoction or used as an ayahuasca additive (Schultes and Raffauf 1990, 422*). For information about dosages and dangers, see Brugmansia arborea.

In the Himalayas, the dried leaves are used in tantric smoking blends in the same manner as those of Datura metel.

Ritual Use

 

This species is the most commonly used Brugmansia in the upper Amazon region. The Jíbaro or Shuar and Achuar drink a tea of the plant they call maikuna to obtain a vision that can help them acquire an arutam wakani, “visionary soul” (cf. Nicotiana tabacum). Once acquired, this soul will be sent forth to make inquiries in the “other world” (Bennett 1992, 493*). Among the Achuar, the visions of the arutamare especially important because they restore to a warrior (the former hunter of shrunken heads) the power that he has lost as a result of ritual war killing. To do this, the warrior will go to a secluded placed deep in the forest and consume angel’s trumpet juice as well as tobacco juice by himself, away from all others. The effects allow him to see an arutam soon thereafter:

 

Arutam is initially a vision, the fruit of a change in consciousness induced by fasting, the repeated ingestion of tobacco juice, and especially the high doses of scopolamine that are liberated in the thorn apple [sic] [207]preparation. . . . The circumstances under which arutam appear [are] exceptionally stereotypical. Exhausted by the inebriation, physically weakened by a lack of food, the senses focused completely on the desired encounter, the supplicant waits alongside the path until he suddenly perceives the rustling of a distant wind, which swells into a hurricane and descends with all its power over the clearing, while a strange figure or a monster slowly approaches: Perhaps a gigantic jaguar whose eyes spout fire, it might also be two intertwined giant anacondas, an overpowering harpy, a sneering bunch of armed strangers, a dismembered human body whose limbs crawl along the ground, or a flaming head that falls from the skies and rolls around twitching. . . . The wind calms down as quickly as it had arisen, and out of the sudden quiet steps an old man. It is arutam. . . . (Descola 1996, 318f.*)

 

The Jíbaro drink the freshly pressed juice of the stems to become brave and to peer into the future. Unruly children are given some of this drink so that they will learn how to behave properly while delirious (Harner 1984, 143ff.*). The Kofán and Achuar give the plant to their dogs to improve their hunting abilities (Descola 1996, 88*; Schultes 1981, 34*).

The shamans of the Tzeltal of southern Mexico smoke the leaves “in order to see things,” i.e., for divination and divinatory diagnosis of the causes of illness. But they warn: People who smoke too much will see demons and ultimately “go crazy.”

In Nepal, the leaves of this angel’s trumpet together with those of Cannabis indica are smoked by sadhus and tantric practitioners for meditation or for yoga exercises (cf. also Aconitum ferox).

Artifacts

 

A white-blooming Brugmansia suaveolens is portrayed on a still life with flowers (1833) by Johan Laurentz Jensen (1800–1856). (See also Brugmansia arborea and Brugmansia candida.)

Medicinal Use

 

In Latin America, the leaves of this Brugmansia are very commonly used in folk medicine as an external treatment for wounds, rashes, and ulcers (Berlin et al. 1990, 33ff.*). The Achuar also use the leaves to treat battle wounds and snakebites (Descola 1996, 88*). Use of the flowers and leaves, and sometimes also the seeds, as aphrodisiacs is found throughout the world. Even the scent is regarded as an aphrodisiac.64

Some Lacandon Mayans use angel’s trumpet as a remedy to treat their animals. As one tribe member said,“That is a medicine for the chickens. I treat my chickens with it when they have a rash on the eyes. I take the stem and rub it over it, then they quickly get healthy” (Rätsch 1994b, 60*).

“This plant is not a joke!”

 

A SHUAR INDIAN

 

IN “HALLUCINOGENIC PLANTS OF THE SHUAR AND RELATED INDIGENOUS GROUPS IN AMAZONIAN ECUADOR AND PERU”

 

(BENNETT 1992, 488*)

 

Constituents

 

The tropane alkaloid constituents of this Brugmansia species have a characteristic composition that chemically distinguishes this plant from all other Brugmansia species. The aboveground herbage contains scopolamine (hyoscine), apohyoscine, norhyoscine, atropine, and noratro-pine as well as high concentrations of the tigloyesters of these substances. The roots contain scopolamine, meteloidine, atropine, littorine, 3α-acetoxytropane, 6β-(α-methybutyryloxy)-3αtigloyloxytropane,3α,6β-ditigloyloxytropane-7β-ol, 3-α-tigloyoxytropane-6β-ol, tropine, and cuscohygrine. The principal alkaloid in the corolla of the flowers is norhyoscine (Evans and Lampard 1972). The leaves contain 0.09 to 0.16% alkaloids. Some of the esters also occur in the genera Solandra and Datura (Evans and Lampard 1972). The alkaloid content is highest during the flowering period (Roth et al. 1994, 294*).

 

Cuscohygrine

 

Effects

 

In Colombia, it is commonly believed that the scent of aromatic angel’s trumpet induces sleep and intense dreams often with erotic overtones. In southern Colombia, where there are entire boulevards of aromatic angel’s trumpet trees, people suffering from sleep disorders walk past the scented trees in the evenings. In Peru, it is thought that those who sleep under an aromatic angel’s trumpet will become permanently insane (Schultes 1980, 115*). “Even the scent of the flowers is said to possess narcotic properties and induce headaches as well as nausea” (Roth et al. 1994, 294*).

The hallucinations evoked by aromatic angel’s trumpet can last for up to three days (Bennett 1992, 493*). Overdoses can result in anti-cholinergic delirium (Hall et al. 1978). The toxicological literature contains reports of five deaths alleged to have resulted from an overdose of Brugmansia suaveolens (Roth et al. 1994, 294*).

Commercial Forms and Regulations

 

See Brugmansia arborea.

Literature

 

See also the entries for the other Brugmansia species, scopolamine, and tropane alkaloids.

 

Evans, W. C., and J. F. Lampard. 1972. Alkaloids of Datura suaveolensPhytochemistry 11:3293–98.

 

Hall, Richard C. W., Betty Pfefferbaum, Earl R. Gardner, Sondra K. Stickney, and Mark Perl. 1978. Intoxication with angel’s trumpet: Anticholinergic delirium and hallucinosis. Journal of Psychedelic Drugs 10 (3): 251–53. (About Datura suaveolens.)

 

Brugmansia versicolor Lagerheim

 

Amazonian Tree Datura

 

Family

 

Solanaceae (Nightshade Family); Subfamily Solanoideae, Datureae Tribe, Brugmansia Section

Forms and Subspecies

 

Presumably none

Synonyms

 

Datura versicolor (Lagerh.) Saff.

Folk Names

 

Amazonian datura, Amazonia tree datura, bunte engelstrompete, canachiari (Shipibo), sacha-toé, toé, tree datura

History

 

Although this angel’s trumpet appears to be an important Amazonian shamanic plant, almost no ethnobotanical or ethnopharmacological studies of it have been carried out to date. This may be due at least in part to the fact that the uses of the plant that have been noted in ethnographic reports may have been listed under incorrect botanical names. It is very likely that a great deal of the information recorded for Brugmansia suaveo-lens and Brugmansia x insignis actually pertains to Brugmansia versicolor.

This plant first became known to botanists when the Swedish botanist Nils Gustaf von Lagerheim (1860–1926), who was also the first to describe Brugmansia aurea, discovered it in Ecuador in 1895.

Distribution

 

This angel’s trumpet is from the northwestern Amazon region (the basin of Guyaquil) and is adapted to the tropical climate. It is found primarily in Ecuador (Zander 1994, 226*) but is also common in northern Peru (Schultes and Raffauf 1990, 424*).

Cultivation

 

Propagation is performed through cuttings (as with Brugmansia arborea and Brugmansia x insignis).

Appearance

 

This perennial plant grows into a treelike shrub that can attain a height of 3 meters. The large, trumpet-shaped flowers have smooth corollas and hang straight down (an important characteristic for identification). The flowers are usually various shades of pink and yellow (hence the name versicolor). The calyx is simply dentate. The smooth fruit capsule is thin, spindle-shaped, and approximately 15 cm in length and, like the flower itself, hangs straight down. The leaves have a smooth margin and are oval with a pointed end.

Amazonian tree datura is easily confused with Brugmansia x candida and Brugmansia x insignis. Crossing Brugmansia aurea with Brugmansia versicolor yielded the hybrid Brugmansia x candida(Schultes and Hofmann 1980, 267*).

Psychoactive Material

 

—Fresh stalks

—Leaves

Preparation and Dosage

 

A shamanic dosage consists of 1 to 2 ml of the juice pressed from fresh stalks. The dried leaves and flowers can be smoked alone or in smoking blends. For more about dosages and dangers, see Brugmansia arborea.

Ritual Use

 

This species is one of the most important shamanic plants in the Amazonian regions of Ecuador and Peru. In spite of this, almost nothing is known about its usage, which is presumably quite similar to the usage of Brugmansia aureaBrugmansia x insignis, and Brugmansia suaveo-lens. In the Peruvian Amazon, Brugmansia versi-color is used as an ayahuasca additive and is cultivated in home gardens specifically for this purpose (Ott 1993, 222*).

Artifacts

 

See Brugmansia arborea.

Medicinal Use

 

It is possible that this plant is used in folk medicine as a means of birth control (Schultes and Raffauf 1990, 424*).

Constituents

 

The entire plant contains tropane alkaloids. Chemical studies are lacking.

Effects

 

It is said that the scent of this species not only induces sedative effects but also can, at high dosages (e.g., when a person sleeps underneath this angel’s trumpet at night), result in temporary or permanent insanity. A myth of the Juruna tribe tells how under certain circumstances the scent can also lead one to become a shaman:

 

One day Uaiçá went hunting. In the forest, he saw many, yes, very many dead animals lying beneath a tree. Uaiçá stood and looked, unable to comprehend how this could happen. As he was thinking about it, he walked around the tree. No sooner had he walked beneath the tree than he felt dazed, and he immediately fell down and slept. He had many dreams. He dreamt of singing people, of the tapir and all the other animals. In a dream, he also saw Sinaá, an ancestor of the Juruna. He spoke long with him. When Uaiçá awoke, he immediately went back home, for it was late and the sun was already setting. The following day, he returned to the tree, where he again fell down and went to sleep. He dreamed of the same things: of Sinaá, singing people, animals, and his people. For several days, Uaiçá came to the tree, under which he always had the same dreams after he had fallen asleep. He had fasted since the first day. He ate nothing. During the last visit, Sinaá told Uaiçá in a dream: ‘Do not come under this tree any more. This is enough.’

“After Uaiçá woke up, he scraped off a little of the bark of the tree and went to the riverbank. There he made a tea from the bark and drank of it. Then he was inebriated, and he jumped into the water and caught fish with his hands. . . . Uaiçá never went back to the tree. He now drank the tea he had brewed from the bark scrapings, and in this way he acquired many abilities.” (Karlinger and Zacherl 1976, 172 f.*)

 

Apart from this, the effects of this plant should not differ from those of other Brugmansia species.

 

The tropical Brugmansia versicolor can be recognized by its vertically hanging flowers.

 

 

A cultivated form of Brugmansia versicolor with a double trumpet flower

 

“Perhaps the Brugmansias would have become extinct long ago if they had not impressed so many people with their ornamental value. These decorative and yet easily cultivatable plants are making their ways into ornamental gardens with increasing frequency—both planted in the ground and as potted plants, depending upon the geographical situation. It would be wonderful if the survival of an interesting genus of plant could be ensured at least in this manner.”

 

ULRIKE AND HANS-GEORG PREISSEL ENGELSTROMPETEN [ANGEL’S TRUMPETS]

 

(1997, 17)

 

Commercial Forms and Regulations

 

See Brugmansia arborea.

Literature

 

See also the entries for the other Brugmansia species, scopolamine, and tropane alkaloids.

 

Lagerheim, G. 1895. Monographie der ecuadorianischen Arten der Gattung Brugmansia Pers. Engler’s Botanisches Jahrbuch 20:655–68.

 

Brugmansia spp. and Hybrids

 

Angel’s Trumpets and Hybrids

 

Family

 

Solanaceae (Nightshade Family); Subfamily Solanoideae, Datureae Tribe, Brugmansia Section

Because angel’s trumpets are such beautiful plants, they have attracted the enthusiastic attention of gardeners all around the world. There is hardly a tropical or subtropical region in which one will not find angel’s trumpets being used as ornamentals. As a result of the now global distribution of these plants, even specialized botanists (including myself) are no longer able to keep track of the genus and the hybrids that have been produced from it (cf. Lockwood 1973).

It is a difficult enough task to distinguish among the species discussed above, not to mention the local varieties. The situation is made more confusing by the utter taxonomic confusion and the multitude of popular names. The many commercial names of plants and seeds that can be obtained from nurseries and seed dealers are more the result of the seller’s imagination than botanical nomenclature.

To truly untangle the taxonomy of angel’s trumpets, extensive comparative genetic studies would be necessary. These, however, are both expensive and time-consuming and would presumably not justify the economic benefits that would result.

Below may be found some of the names that have appeared in the literature. These refer either to very little known species, subspecies, or varieties or to cultivated forms and hybrids. Only three types can in fact be distinguished on the basis of the actual flower shape: Brugmansia x candida (=

B. aurea), B. sanguinea, and B. suaveolens (cf. Schultes 1979b*). For this reason, the following taxa have been assigned to these types (most species and hybrids are sterile, so the shapes of the fruits cannot be used for classification purposes):

Brugmansia x candida type:

 

Brugmansia dolichocarpa Lagerh. [syn. Datura dolichocarpa (Lagerh.) Saff., Datura carpa]

This form is very similar to B. versicolor.

Datura (Brugmansiacornigera (Hook.) Lagerh.

A form with very large flowers; described for the Valley of Mexico (Safford 1921, 183).

Datura (Brugmansiamollis Saff.

A yellow-flowering form from Ecuador; apparently synonymous with B. x candida.

Datura rubella Saff.

Described only for an herbarium specimen from Ecuador (Safford 1921, 185).

Brugmansia sanguinea type:

 

Datura (Brugmansiachlorantha

Yellow-blooming form; presumably identical to B. sanguinea.

Datura pittieri Saff.

A form of B. sanguinea that produces light-colored blossoms.

Datura (Brugmansiarosei Saff.

Reddish-blooming form of B. sanguinea from Ecuador; also used as a name for a cross between Datura innoxia and B. aurea (Lockwood 1973, 280).

Brugmansia vulcanicola (Barclay) Lockw. [syn. Datura vulcanicola A.S. Barclay]

See B. sanguinea.

Brugmansia suaveolens type:

 

Datura affinis Saff.

Nonsterile form that produces an oval fruit, from the area of Quito, Ecuador; apparently synonymous with B. arborea or B. suaveolens.

Datura suaveolens x Datura candida cv. Flintham Hall

Brugmansia longifolia Lagerh. [syn. Datura longifolia (Lagerh.) Saff.]

Presumably a long-leafed, white-blooming form of B. suaveolens.

 

Today, most botanists accept four species of angel’s trumpets: B. arboreaB. aureaB. san-guineaB. suaveolens. All the other names refer to forms, subspecies, hybrids, and races (D’Arcy 1991, 94; Schultes 1979b, 141*). It may be that only B. aureaB. sanguinea, and B. suaveolens are true, independent species.

Crosses of Brugmansia suaveolens and Brugmansia versicolor are frequently encountered. These often yield spectacularly beautiful flowers in various colors (especially white and yellow). Several of the crosses and hybrids have been affected by certain viruses that do not kill the plant but simply alter the form of its flowers. Some of the cultivars are not amenable to more precise specification.

Crosses with Other Genera

 

Some botanists have succeeded in producing crosses between the species Datura and Brugmansia. The following hybrids have been successfully produced (Lockwood 1973, 280):

Datura innoxia (fem.) x Brugmansia aurea

Datura innoxia (fem.) x Brugmansia suaveolens

Synonyms with Other Species

 

Some of the nightshades that have been described under the name Brugmansia are now assigned to the genus Juanulloa:

Brugmansia aurantiaca Hort. ex Walpers is an outdated synonym for the nightshade Juanulloa parasitica Ruíz et Pav.

Brugmansia coccinea Hort. ex Siebert et Voss. is a synonym for Juanulloa aurantiaca Otto et A. Dietr.

Brugmansia floribunda Paxton (= Brugmansia parviflora Paxton) is a synonym for a Juanulloa species.

 

Some species of the genus Juanulloa are used as ayahuasca additives.

 

This flower of Brugmansia suaveolens x versicolor has been deformed by a virus.

 

 

As a result of the long history of cultivation and the numerous hybrids that have been produced, many angel’s trumpets have developed into forms that are impossible to assign to a specific species.

 

 

The hybrid Brugmansia suaveolens x versicolor is a popular garden ornamental.

 

 

A virus has produced this mutated form of a Brugmansia species cultivar, which develops “glovelike” flowers.

 

Literature

 

See also the entries for the other Brugmansia species, scopolamine, and tropane alkaloids.

 

D’Arcy, William G. 1991. The Solanaceae since 1976, with a review of its bibliography. In Solanaceae III: Taxonomy, chemistry, evolution, ed. Hawkes, Lester, Nee, and Estrada, 75–138. London: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Linnean Society.

 

Lagerheim, G. 1895. Monographie der ecuadorianischen Arten der Gattung Brugmansia Pers. Engler’s Botanisches Jahrbuch 20:655–68.

 

Lockwood, Tom E. 1973. Generic recognition of BrugmansiaBotanical Museum Leaflets 23 (6): 273–84.

 

Safford, William E. 1921. Synopsis of the genus DaturaJournal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 11 (8): 173–89.