Are Angels Trumpets Poisonous?

The Angel Trumpet plant is the common name of Brugmansia Suaveolens or Brugmansia Arborea and is native to South America. 

Learn more about Angel Trumpet Care

These evergreen plants are shrubs or small trees with pendulous flowers and branching trunks, similar to the other garden plants in the genus Brugmansia.

beautiful pendulous flowers of Angels Trumpets (Brugmansia)
wuttichok | Depositphotos

Numerous species of this genus have been used by indigenous people as herbal medicine, mainly in the Northern Andes. 

They are often mistaken for the devil’s trumpet plant (Datura flower) due to similar characteristics.

These plants grow about 26’ feet tall, and the large, elegant flowers hang like bells giving them an ornamental look. 

The flowers are 20” inches in height and are fragrant, attracting moths and hummingbirds. 

The color of the flowers varies between green, pink, red, orange,  yellow, cream, and white.

Pink Triple flower Angels Trumpets
Triple Pink bloom of Angels Trumpets | PlantCareToday.com

However, this plant is highly poisonous to animals and humans. 

This plant is used to make a recreational drug, but the chances of overdose are incredibly high, and it typically results in fatal consequences. 

These poisonous plants belong to the family of Solanaceae (the nightshade family).

Is The Angel Trumpet Plant Poisonous or Toxic?

Exposure to these Brugmansia species is highly poisonous as it may cause the anticholinergic syndrome in the central nervous system.

This plant comprises of high amounts of tropane alkaloids, the leaves have 0.4% of hyoscine, and the flowers have around 0.83% hyoscine. 

The other toxic plants containing similar amounts of tropane alkaloids include Hyoscyamus and Datura stramonium (jimsonweed).

These alkaloids possess hallucinogenic elements, leading to fatalities and abuse. 

Human intoxications typically occur due to handling the plant without wearing protective gear or consuming tea-infused with the flowers and fresh leaves.

What Parts Of The Angel Trumpet Plant Are Poisonous or Toxic?

Every part of the plant is considered poisonous, including roots, seeds, flowers, and leaves. 

The plant contains alkaloids – hyoscyamine, scopolamine, and atropine. 

The ingestion of Angel’s Trumpet may result in the occurrence of severe symptoms.

Although these alkaloid compounds are synthesized in modern medicine, they are extremely toxic without the supervision of a doctor.

What Are The Symptoms Of Poisoning?

Poisoning may occur if the residue from Angel’s Trumpet plant enters the gastrointestinal tract or the bloodstream either through mucous membranes absorption or ingestion of any part of the plant. 

It will result in severe side effects, including:

  • Unilateral mydriasis
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse

Children might develop dilated pupils and temporary blurred vision after coming in contact or ingesting any parts of the plant.

It is crucial to get immediate medical attention once the symptoms start showing, especially if a human or pet has been in recent contact with this plant. 

If left untreated, it may result in convulsions, paralysis, coma, or even death.

Typically, physostigmine is used for treating severe poisoning.

How to Protect Yourself While Handling the Angel Trumpet Plant

There are various means of minimizing the risk of poisoning to protect animals and humans while also enjoying the ornamental value of this plant. 

  • Consider placing the plant away from walkways, playsets, and other common areas where exposure might occur. 
  • Avoid planting it in areas, which are less visible where pets and children might try exploring unseen.
  • There are also chances of cross-contamination with other edible crops. 
  • Therefore, plant the angle’s trumpet away from herb and vegetable gardens. 
  • Moreover, set up a low hedge or a decorative fence around the plant.
  • When you are watering, feeding, or pruning this plant, make sure you take the right precautions. 
  • Always wear thick gloves, goggles, and protective clothing. 
  • Raking and discarding the plant matter should also be done with caution. 
  • Wash off the pruning shears, knives, protective gloves, and other tools which come in contact with this plant to prevent any accidental contamination.

The Angel Trumpet plant is a beautiful addition to the landscape garden. Enjoy the fragrant flowers with care.

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