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Angel's Trumpet

By Judy Sedbrook, Colorado Master GardenerSM, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Denver County

 Looking for something unusual to fill that bare spot in the garden or provide an exotic accent on the patio? Datura, also known as Angel's trumpet, may be just the plant for you.

With coarse green leaves and spectacular trumpet-shaped flowers, Datura will make a bold statement anyplace it is used in the garden.

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Datura bud opening

 Datura prefers full sun but will do well in partial shade, especially in hot locations. Given adequate moisture, it will quickly grow to 2-3 feet even in poor soil.

 Although usually grown as an annual in cooler climates, the white flowered species D. inoxia is occasionally hardy enough to survive winters in Zone 5. It will overwinter best if kept dry until spring.

 Highly fragrant, especially at night, Datura is a natural choice for the moon garden. Blossoms that open at night will last well into the next day.

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Fully open bloom

 Although most Datura blooms are white, varieties can also be found in purple, lavender, yellow and red. The bloom form can be single, double or triple.

 Grown indoors as a houseplant, Datura requires good light with some direct sun and should receive regular watering from spring to autumn. During the winter the plant should be kept cool and watered sparingly. If repotting is necessary, it should be done in the spring. Two species, D. candida and D. suaveolens are recommended as houseplants.

 Datura can be started indoors in flats or pots or seeded directly into the garden. Plant in a warm and sunny location, after all threat of frost is past. Germination takes 14 to 30 days at temperatures of 60-65. Allow plenty of space between plants as they can easily spread 4 to 6 feet. They grow rapidly and may start to flower when only about 18" tall.

 Datura will readily reseed itself. The seed pods  are walnut-sized and spiny, giving rise to the plant's English name 'Thornapple.'

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Datura seed pod

 These plants are susceptible to spider mites and, when not in pots, will need protection from slugs.

 Used by native Americans to induce visionary dreams, all parts of Datura are considered toxic and should not be grown in areas frequented by children.

 'Herald' in the gardening season this year with Angel's Trumpet, a desirable addition to any garden.

Seed and Plant Sources:

The Seedman

3421 Bream St.

Gautier, MS 39553

Phone: 1-800-336-2064

Fax: 1-228-497-6544


Graceful Gardens

Box 100, Mecklenburg, NY 14863

Phone and Fax: 1-607-37-5529

Email: grace@clarityconnect.com


Flower Power Nursery

427 Browns Crossing Rd.

Milledgeville, GA 31061

Phone and Fax: 1-912-452-6055

Email: cliff@flowerpowernursery.com



5922 Shadow Wood Drive

Corpus Christi, TX 78415

Phone: 1-361-852-5063

Fax: 1-361-852-7083


Thompson and Morgan, Inc.

Email: tminc@thompson-morgan.com


Photographs courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010