Saturday, 20 February 2010
* BRUGMANSIA bicolor.
Nat. ord. SOLANEAE Juss. (Introduction to the Natural System of
Botany, p. 231.)
BRUGMANSIA Pers. Omnia Daturae nisi calyx persistens nec basi
B. bicolor; follis ovatis sinuato-lobatis, corollâ versicolore.
B. bicolor. Pers. Synops. 1. 216. Römer et Schultes, Syst. veg. 4. 307.
B. sanguinea. Don in Sweet's Brit. Fl. Gard. t. 272.
Datura sanguinea. Ruiz et Pavon. Fl. Peruv. 2. p. 15. Humb. et Kunth.
nov. gen. et sp.pl. Amer. vol. 3.6.
A shrubby plant, requiring exactly the same treatment
as the Brugmansia arborea, growing vigorously in the open
air in this climate during summer, but requiring protection
It is on many accounts one of the most interesting plants
that have been yet brought from South America, for which
the public is indebted to Charles Crawley, Esq., who brought
it with him from Guayaquil in 1833. It was originally raised
in the garden of Miss Traill, and also by Lady Gibbs, of
Hayes Common near Bromley, by whom we were favoured
with the specimen now represented, and the sight of a beautiful
drawing of the flowers in the two conditions of colour.
In the Flora Peruviana, and the systematic work of Baron
Humboldt it is fully described; from their statements and
the materials we have received from Lady Gibbs, we are
enabled to draw up the following statement.
* So named in compliment to Brügmans a Professor of Natural History and
Botany at Leyden, who occupied himself with vegetable chemistry, and who is
said to have been the first to notice the secretions-of plants by their roots.
This remarkable plant is a native of elevated and cold
situations in the provinces of Tarma, Xauxa, Huarochesi,
Canta, and Humalies, where it grows among rubbish; it is
also found near the village of La Cruz, and on the banks
of the river Mayo, between Almaguer and Pasto in New
Grenada, where it was found by Humboldt and Bonpland,
at nearly 7000 feet above the sea. It begins to flower in
June and ceases in November. By the Peruvians it is called
Floripondio encarnado and Campanillas encarnadas; by the
Columbians Bovochevo. Its stature varies from 10 to 20 feet,
the stem being generally undivided and terminated bv a
roundish leafy head. The flowers are either a bright
yellowish orange colour, or the deep orange red of our figure;
we believe they change from the former to the latter. They
are succeeded by an oblong, smooth, yellow, pendulous
capsule, which is as much as eight inches long. The seeds,
like those of the common Stramonium, are narcotic in a high
degree. In the Temple of the Sun, in the city of Sogamoza,
there is a famous oracle, the priests of which inspire themselves
by chewing the intoxicating seeds of this plant, just as
the Pythoness at Delphi received the influence of her god
by chewing laurel leaves and inhaling a gaseous vapour.
From the fruit itself the Columbians prepare a drink called
Tonga, which when weak is merely soporific, but drank in
stronger doses produces frenzy, which can only be removed
by administering immediate draughts of cold water.
From deference to the authority of Mr. Don, we adopt the
genus Brugmansia; but we confess our inability to discover
any ground for separating it from Datura, except that its
calyx does not separate from its base, and drop off as in the
commoner species of the latter genus.
With regard to the specific name, however, we feel bound
to preserve that first given to the plant in Persoon's synopsis.
It would have been better, perhaps, had that Botanist retained
the specific name of the Flora Peruviana, although in transferring
the plant to a new genus he was by no means required
to do so; but as he did not, we cannot perceive either the
necessity or the expediency of creating a new name now;
while on the other hand the inconvenience of doing so must
be manifest to every one.
We were favoured by Miss Traill with the following
memorandum, concerning the management of the plant.
"Some of the plants were placed in the open ground
near the greenhouse; but they died down in the cold weather.
They have since sprung up and attained the height of about
three feet, and have borne leaves and flowers rather imperfectly
developed. The stove plants kept their leaves all the
winter, and are now between five and six feet high. The
plant will not flower in pots, as it has large and spreading
roots, and requires a constant supply of moisture."
Edwards's botanical register.
London :James Ridgway,1829-1847.
v. 20 (1835): Plate 1739
Brugmansia sanguinea D.Don
in Sweet, Brit. Flow. Gard. Ser. II. t. 272.
Ser. II. t. 272