Spring has sprung, and it’s time for the trees and flowers to return to the full beauty that nature intended. South Georgia is one of the best places to experience the seasons, as locals are able to see everything from plants in full bloom to bare trees and falling leaves.
The Brugmansia plant is a flowering plant that, at one time, was native to all areas of the world except Antarctica. Eventually growth became restricted to the tropical regions of South America, from Venezuela to northern Chile; it was also seen in southeastern Brazil.
Unfortunately, the flower has since been labeled “extinct in the wild”. But cultivators grow them in isolated tropical areas worldwide. The flower is best grown in frost-free climates in soil that is moist, fertile, and well-drained.
Tami Belvin has been hybridizing and cultivating the brugmansia since 2007. Her fascination with the flower began on the Web, but she eventually began taking up the process on her own.
“The Brugmansia doesn’t self-pollinate,” Mrs. Belvin says. “Because of that, enthusiasts must handle the pollination by hand. I have a greenhouse on my property that is just for the brugmansias. Bees will often come and help with pollination, but it’s mainly up to cultivators.”
Keeping in line with their flowering nature, the Brugmansia has aptly been given the common name of “Angel’s trumpets”. Usually growing as large shrubs (or small trees) with woody, multi-branched trunks, the plant can reach heights of anywhere from 10 to 36 feet. The flowers typically grow in beautiful shades of yellow, orange, pink, green, red, or white, and often emit a strong, pleasant fragrance that stands out most in the evening.
“They’re beautiful,” Mrs. Belvin says. “And part of the fun is being able to create new breeds of the plant. A woman recently registered one online that was completely green; she named it ‘The Grinch’.”
Brugmansias begin to bloom in mid-to-late spring and continue into the fall. The plant is also what is known as an ornamental plant, which means that it is grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects. And as with most ornamental plants, all parts of the Brugmansia are potentially poisonous, especially the seeds and leaves.
“Yes, they are poisonous,” Mrs. Belvin says. “But it doesn’t really pose a threat unless you ingest them. You have to take the proper precautions. I always wear gloves, and I don’t eat or drink anything while I’m working with the plants.”
“For anyone that may have ever looked for a hobby or something rewarding to do, this is a great idea,” Mrs. Belvin says. “I love what I do!”
Anyone that is interested in learning more about what goes into cultivating and creating this beautiful plant can visit the Brugmansia Growers International website at http://www.brugmansia.us. The website offers photo galleries, forums for sharing stories and findings, and much more!
Health-Life / March 2016
By James Washington