New Name for Poisonous Shrub a Garden Danger; Weekender Columnist Neil Fisher Is from Fisher's Nursery, North Rockhampton. You Can Chat with Neil on Radio 4ro's Gardening Hour after the 6am News on Tuesdays

Article excerpt

Byline: NEIL FISHER

IT IS hard to realise that when you see this tropical shrub with its unusual fragrant flowers in the garden or on the shelf in the garden section of a hardware store it is the deadly poisonous plant called Angel's Trumpet.

What has confused many gardeners is the name Brugmansia, as for many years the Angel's Trumpet was sold as Dutura. With the Angel's Trumpet now been sold under the name of Brugmansia many people could have bought this plant not knowing what it is, and with most poisonous plant warning information not listing the new name, a serious poisoning could happen.

Brugmansia candida or Angels Trumpet is a South American native widely grown throughout tropical Australia. It produces a spectacular display of large trumpet-shaped perfumed flowers in colours of apricot, pink, white or yellow, and has showy tropical green foliage. The fragrance of these flowers has a slightly lemony scent.

It is hard not to admire the angelic flowers of this 3m high shrub, but all parts of the plant are very poisonous. There are many cases of poisoning from this plant reported each year, mainly by children who eat the seeds or parts of the flower. It should also be noted that the stems and leaves are also quite poisonous.

Symptoms include a dry mouth, difficulty in speech and swallowing, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, confusion, delirium and even a tendency to violence. There have been several cases where those who have eaten some of this plant have died.

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