Brugmansia Noel’s Blush

Brugmansia Noel's Blush

Brugmansia Noel's Blush

The late summer sight of this brugmansia in full bloom is striking and the trumpets are a pretty peachy pink in colour. Each bloom can measure 25cm long and up to 20cm across which is on the large side. I was reading a description which said strongly scented which I can’t say I have noticed so I rushed out to sniff. No scent in the morning, I am afraid. It appears they are night scented which is an indication that pollination is carried out by night flying insects, usually moths. The plant itself is a big rangy thing of no beauty – you have to work at keeping it more compact and bushy if you want a tidy plant. Otherwise it is just an overgrown solanum which wows when in flower.

This particular one was named for the late Auckland gardener and plantswoman, Noel Scotting and it came into the country about twenty years ago. Brugmansias are all South American and there seems to be quite a bit of shuffling of species, even though there are not many different species to shuffle. I lean towards the likelihood of this being B. suaveolens from south east Brazil. Or it may be a hybrid. All brugmansias are frost tender.

Brugmansias used to be called daturas, to which they are closely related. They are also very toxic. South American tribes have long used them in traditional medicine for purposes as varied as treating dermatitis, arthritis, prophecy, a ritual hallucinogen and, most scary of all, apparently to discipline naughty children by opening them up to the voices of their spirit ancestors. It sounds like scaring them witless to me. All parts of the plants are toxic and fortunately synthetic illegal drugs have replaced their occasional recreational use which was all too often fatal.

The double white brugmansia featured earlier in this series.

First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.

8 thoughts on “Brugmansia Noel’s Blush

  1. Keith

    I’ve joined the Brugmansia club this year with B.sanguinea, an autumn bloomer here in the UK.
    Datura wrightii is a fantastic shrub – have you tried it? Brug sized upward facing blooms that are super fragrant, and the shrub just grow to a metre in height.
    Have you tried the other close Brug relative Iochroma Abbie?

  2. Diana Kenny

    I have a well loved small tree of Noel’s Blush – I do shift work and notice the perfume at night 11.30pm when I come home. I would love some more but where to get them in NZ? the white one looks lovely and Keith’s above mentioned Datura wrightii sounds great – I want one!!

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      It is dead easy to strike from cutting. You won’t need rooting hormone. Just reduce the sail area of the leaf by at least 50% when you put the cutting in. Russell Fransham sells some varieties – he is Northland but I think he does mail order. He would be worth tracking down. I can’t recall what his business name is but it has the word tropical in it – may even be Russell Fransham Tropicals!

  3. Abbie Jury Post author

    Yes, we have the Iochroma in the garden – I meant to phootgraph it and write it up this year but forgot. I hadn’t thought about being a brugmansia relative but it makes sense now that you mention it. D wrightii is, I think, what we had as a moonflower but we didn’t take sufficient care of it and lost the plant.

    1. Keith

      D.wrightii is good for us in the UK as it grows a tuber. So I just shove it in the garage over the winter and revive again in the spring.
      I had I.grandiflora last year, but it was sacrificed to the winter through lack of space. This year I have seed grown I.australis, but may just treat myself to I.cyanea too. Is Iochroma hardy there?

  4. Abbie Jury Post author

    These plants are hardy to coastal Taranaki but any frosts we get are very light. They get burnt by frost in inland and more southerly areas unless planted carefully with some cover. Our problems tend to be more related to high rainfall here.

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