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Credit: courtesy Veseys Seeds Ltd.

Be that as it may, we now see them in many garden settings, particularly the woody daturas that are now called Brugmansia, rather than the annual daturas (still called Datura) Daturas are dramatic plants indeed. Their common name of angels’ trumpets hints at the huge flowers of red, yellow, peach or white, dangling beneath luxuriant foliage of branches on shrubs 2 m (6 ft.) high. Many myths and stories pertain to their peculiarly toxic properties. Perhaps a potion derived from datura was ingested by the priests of the Delphic oracle in order to produce those paroxysms attributed to the Divine power – necessary to bewilder and astonish all who came for enlightenment and advice. These plants are widespread throughout North America and grow by the roadsides in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, where it is not uncommon to see huge trees festooned with their showy, hanging flowers. All daturas make good tub plants. In our region, they must be taken in for the winter or sheltered in the greenhouse and only in early summer moved to your border or island bed.