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Brugmansia Terms and Definitions

The International Brugmansia and Datura Society has compiled this list of common terms and definitions used in describing and identifying Brugmansia.  This list will continue to evolve so if we have omitted a term you are looking for, please let us know.

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Pollen-bearing structure in the stamen (male organ) of the flower- usually located on top of the filament of the stamen.

Anthers Types
The appearance of the anthers differ depending on the species and hybrid.

  • Fused - The anthers are fused together.
  • Semi-fused - The anthers are not completely fused together.
  • Free - The anthers are not fused.
  • Corolla-fused - The filament is fused to the inside of the corolla.

Asexual Propagation
Known as vegetative propagation. Methods include: division, cuttings, layering and tissue culture.

Average First frost Date
The average date in which the first frost usually occurs in your area.

Average Last frost Date
The average date in which the last frost usually occurs in your area.

The upper angle between a twig or leaf and the stem from which it grows.

Axillary bud
A bud that is located where the leaf petiole is attached to the stem.

Basal Cutting
Cuttings taken from the base of the plant, usually in the spring.

The thin membrane located just beneath the bark of a plant.

The fiber obtained from the husk of a coconut. Great for starting Brugmansia seeds.

A structure that is leaf-like and encloses and protects the bud of a flower.

Calyx Lobes
The elongated part of the calyx between splits.

Calyx Splits
As the flower emerges from the calyx, the calyx develops one or more splits. The number of splits are characteristic for a Brugmansia species and for hybrids. The calyx may have one, two, three or more.

A mixture of decaying organic matter - as from leaves and manure- used to improve soil structure and provide nutrients.

Cool Group of Brugmansias
This group consists of B. arborea, B. sanguinea, B. vulcanicola and their hybrids. They are capable of cross pollinating. This group usually requires cool growing conditions.

The colored petals of a flower.

Corolla Edge
The petal edge. There are different descriptions of the flower edge.

  • Smooth - The edge is flat and straight, no curves.
  • Semi-Recurved - Slight backward curve of the petals.
  • Recurved - Petals are curved backward, more than 180º
  • Heavily Recurved - Petals are curved back far enough that they tuck into themselves, 360º
  • Ruffled - The petal edge is very wavy.

Corolla Neck
The narrowed part of the corolla which may or may not be exposed beyond the calx.

  • None/Concealed - The neck is not visible beyond the calyx.
  • Exposed - The neck is visible from all sides.
  • Semi-Exposed/Semi-Concealed - Part of the neck is visible beyond the calyx usually in the slits between lobes.

Corolla (Flower) Position
The position the flower takes after it has opened. There are a number of positions taken by Brugmansias

  • Upright - The flower faces upward toward the sky.
  • Horizontal - The flower faces sideways parallel to the ground.
  • Nodding - The flower faces downward at an angle from the parallel.
  • Pendant - The flower faces straight down toward the ground.

Corolla Teeth
The thin tip of each petal. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as tendrils. The following terms are used to describe the length of the teeth.

  • None - There are no teeth at the end of each petal.
  • Short - Teeth are less than 10mm.
  • Medium - More than 10mm, but less than 25mm.
  • Long - More than 25mm.

Corolla Tube Shapes
That part of the flower between the neck and the flaring part of the petals. The tube shape can be described in a number of ways.

  • Blunt Flared -
  • Funnel - The tube is shaped like an upside down funnel.
  • Trumpet - The tube is about the same size for most of its length. Toward the end, it flares much like a trumpet flares.
  • Trumpet/Funnel - The shape is partway between the trumpet and the funnel shape.
  • Tube - The shape is the same from beginning to end before the petals flare.
  • Trumpet/Tube - Tube shape halfway between a trumpet and a tube shape.
  • Shredded - The petals are separated from each other. There is no tube.

The primary leaves of an embryo that are present in the seed. These are the very first leaves that emerge and are not true leaves.

Cross Pollination
The transfer of pollen from one plant variety to another.

A contraction of the term "cultivated variety". A variation of a species, a plant that has been bred or cultivated by man and is not found growing wild in nature. Terms in the cultivar name are always capitalized and included in single quotes.

Damping Off
A fungus usually affecting seedlings that causes the stem to rot off at soil level. Sterilized potting soil and careful sanitation practices usually prevent this. Also referred to as damp off.

The gradual dying of plant shoots, starting at the tips, as a result of various diseases or climatic condition.

Elliptic (elliptica) Leaf
Oval shaped, with a short or no point.

The minute, undeveloped plant contained within a seed.

The outer layer of cells in a leaf, stem or root.

Refers to a plant that is well-rooted and producing good growth.

Female Reproductive Organs
The pistil is the collective term for the carpel(s). Each carpel includes an ovary (where the ovules are produced; ovules are the female reproductive cells, the eggs), a style (a tube on top of the ovary), and a stigma (which receives the pollen during fertilization).

Pollen must fertilize an ovule to produce a viable seed. This process is called pollination, and is often aided by insects like bees and moths. After a male's pollen grains have been placed on the stigma, pollen tubes develop within the style, burrowing down to the ovary, where the sperm fertilizes an ovum (an egg cell), in the ovule. After fertilization, the ovule develops into a seed inside the ovary.

Part of the male reproductive structure (stamen) of a flower that supports the pollen bearing anthers.

First True Leaves
The first leaves that develop after the cotyledons. These look like the mature plant leaves.

The flower is the reproductive unit of some plants (angiosperms). Parts of the flower include petals, sepals, one or more carpels (the female reproductive organs), and stamens (the male reproductive organs).

Foliar Feeding
To fertilize by spraying the foliage of the plant with fertilizer.

Frost Tender
Plants damaged or killed by a winter frost. Many tropical plants will suffer tissue damage when exposed to freezing temperatures.

The process by which a seed breaks its dormancy and begins to grow. Usually requires that any germination inhibitors be removed, and the seed is then exposed to heat and moisture

Granular Fertilizer
A fertilizer that is dry and is in tiny pellet form A granular fertilizer can come in both a natural and synthetic form.

The resilience of a plant to cold, drought or disease.

Hardwood Cutting
A cutting taken from mature wood of both deciduous and evergreen plants at the end of the growing season.

The offspring of two plants of different genus or species of plants. Hybrids are created when the pollen from one kind of plant is used to pollinate a different plant resulting in an entirely new plant.

Insecticidal Soap
An organic mixture that is effective in destroying soft-bodied insects such as: aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, thrips, soft brown scale, psyllids earwigs lace bugs whiteflies. It works by breaking down the coating that helps the adult or young insect retain moisture in its body. Once this coating is disrupted, the insect dehydrates and dies. Many commercial mixtures are readily available - a common brand name is "Safer.

Refers to the shape of a leaf or leaflet that is 2 or 3 times as long as it is wide, widest in the middle and tapering to a pointed tip.

Lasagna Gardening
A composting technique using carbon materials leaves, twigs, straw, mixed with nitrogen materials such as grass clippings, kitchen scraps without dairy or meat), mixed with soil. These materials are layered like a cook assembling a lasagna by layering the ingredients.

Lateral Bud
A bud growing from a side node on a branch - as opposed to a terminal bud which grows from the very tip of a branch.

Leaf Margin
The edge of a leaf. There are a number of different types of leaf margins

Saw-like teeth pointing toward the leaf apex.

Margin has low rounded very blunted teeth.

The edge is smooth without any indentations, teeth or lobes.

Wavy, curling along the leaf edge from the front to the back of the the leaf.

One of usually numerous, slightly raised, somewhat spongy groups of cells in the bark of woody plants, which permit gas exchange between the interior of a plant and the external atmosphere. Usually where new roots form.

Male Reproductive Organs
Stamens are the male reproductive parts of flowers. A stamen consists of an anther (which produces pollen) and a filament. The pollen consists of the male reproductive cells; they fertilize the ovules.

An organic material, such as pine needles, home compost, rotted manure, grass clippings, shredded leaves, shredded bark or straw which protects the plant from weeds, water evaporation and changes in soil temperature and enriches and improves the texture and structure of the soil.

The place on the stem where a leaf or leaves are produced.

An abbreviation for "no ID" meaning the plant has no confirmed identity, and most likely will never be positively identified, due to the large number of very similar-looking varieties that exist.

A lanceolate leaf that is broader at the base.

Open Pollinated
Pollinated by the wind, insects, birds or animals, not by human manipulation. Open-pollinated plants or seeds are also referred to as non-hybrid.

The ovule-bearing lower part of a pistil that ripens into a fruit.

A shape that is broadest below the middle. Egg-shaped.

The female egg of the plant.

The process of bringing frost-tender plants through the winter by moving them indoors.

A fungus, virus, bacteria, or parasite that attacks plants. It can be water, air or soil borne. It can also be carried by insects.

Having branches or flower heads that bend downward; droop or have a weeping form.

The short stem that connects the flower calyx to the main stem.

One unit of the corolla of a flower, usually colored and more or less showy.

A leaf stalk that connects the leaf to a stem or branch.

pH Scale
A 14 point scale that describes acidity or alkalinity of soil and other substances. A soil pH of 7 is neutral, above 7 is alkaline, and below 7 is acidic.

The process by which green plants convert carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, using the energy from sunlight.

Phytosanitary Certificate
A certificate from a state's or country's Department of Agriculture that states a plant is free from disease, pests, or noxious weeds on the date of inspection.

The female part of the flower that bears the seed- consisting of the ovary , style and stigma.

Grains on the anther that produce sperm cells.

Pollen Tube
A small tube that forms on the wall of a grain of pollen that provides a passageway for the male genetic material to pass from the pollen to the ovule in order to fertilize it and form a seed.

Occurs when pollen is transferred from the anther to the stigma and fertilizes the ovaries of the flower.

Humans, animals or insects that transfer the pollen from the anther to the stigma within a plant, or between plants.

Small opening, as in the leaf of a plant; stomata.

Pot Bound
Roots crowding a container to the point where the plant's growth is affected.

The third number in the NPK ratio. Potassium, often called potash, helps plants use water and resist drought. It promotes healthy green lawn grass. Potassium is important to food crops and enhances the size of fruits and vegetables. Potassium is called the regulator of plants

Potting Mix
A potting medium consisting of soil, sand, peat, leaf mold or other ingredients.

Potting Up
Transferring seedlings or rooted cuttings into individual pots of soil mix.

Powdery Mildew
A fungus disease. It is a surface mold that shows up as grayish deposits on the foliage and stems. It can be kept to a minimum by providing good air flow around plant.

Pre Soaking Seeds
Soaking seeds in warm water . Sometimes chipping or scarifying is required with seeds with especially hard seed coats.

Refers to the many ways of starting new plants. These methods range from planting seeds to the more complicated arts of budding and grafting. With the exception of seed sowing, all methods of starting new plants are known as vegetative propagation: the new plants that result will be identical to the parent plant.

Fine silky hairs.

Quarantine Regulations
Regulations that prohibit certain plants and seeds from entering a geographic area. Recurved-Bent or curved backward

To return to normal, as when a variegated plant starts producing plain green leaves. The green leaves should be removed or the plant will become totally green

Root Pruning
A method of pruning the root structure of trees and shrubs. Usually done prior to transplanting to reduce transplant shock

Root bound
When a plant is allowed to grow too long in its container, it has no room for additional growth, so its' roots become tangled, matted, and grow in circles. Root-bound plants transplanted in the ground without having their roots untangled often fail to overcome their choked condition. This results in stunted plant growth.

Rooting Hormone
These are hormones that are applied to the base of a cutting, causing stimulation of root formation.

Self Sterile
Refering to a plant that cannot be fertilized by it's own pollen.

Semi Double Flower
Flower with two or three times the normal number of petals, usually in two or three rows.

Self Pollination
The transfer of pollen from an anther to a stigma of the same flower.

Shade Cloth
A special cloth used to protect plant material from the sun, most commonly found in use in a greenhouse.

Sleep Position of Leaves
Indicative of growth activity. Usually plants that are growing actively exhibit this at night. Often, plants that are resting or not growing at the moment will not exhibit this, but is also dependent on temperature.

Soil Analysis
An amount of soil sample is tested to determine if the soil pH is within the proper range for a plants' requirements.. In an actively used garden bed or vegetable garden plot, the soil should be analyzed every few years.

Soil Amendment
Any organic material that is added to the soil to improve and enrich its texture, nutrition and draining quality.

Soil pH
The measurement of the alkalinity or acidity of the soil with 0 being acidic and 14 being alkaline. Brugmansia like slightly acidic soils of about pH 6.0. They will grow fine between pH 5.5 to pH 7.0.

Soil Polymers
Water-absorbing chemical, typically in a pellet form - that can be added to soil to increase water retention, and slow the release of water into the soil. Often used in containers where the soil can dry out even with frequent waterings

Sphinx Moth
A nocturnal moth, with relatively short wings and tough body, and a "tail" that resembles a hummingbird's.

Spider Mite
A very small spider-like insect that sucks juices from the leaves of many plants. They are so small, they may be hard to see until their effects are noticeable. Infested plants can eventually die from the effects. Control organically with beneficial insects, insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, sulfur sprays or traditional insecticides.

A plant that shows a marked change from the normal type or parent stock, typically as a result of mutation.

A plant that does not naturally grow as a tree can be trained into a small treelike form with a single, upright trunk topped by a rounded crown of foliage.

Stem Rooting
The ability of a plant to develop adventitious roots along it's stem.

Stengelbrand (Stranglebrand)
An incurable fungal disease of multi-hybrids especially those with suaveolens genetics. Yellow are more susceptible. Discoloration usually starts at leaf scars and includes a black ring. Dispose of plant, pot and soil.

The tube which connects the ovary to the stigma within the female reproductive section of a flower.

An incomplete fertilizer that supplies phosphorus to plants. It can force some plants to grow faster. It contains 20 percent phosphorus and is the most common form.

A term that refers to the entire plant system. For example a systemic insecticide is taken up by the plant's roots and spread throughout the plant's system

A plant is described as tender when it is not able to withstand freezing temperatures or if it is young and not hardened off and ready to set out

Terminal bud- The bud at the very tip of a branch as opposed to a lateral bud which grows from the side of the branch

Narrow-bodied (1/16") sap-sucking insect pest. Adults are black to brown, nymphs are pale yellow. They thrive in hot, dry conditions. Damage appears as white, de-pigmented areas on petals - leaves can show silvery damage too - of some ornamentals and heavy infestations will cause distorted buds that do not open.

Tomato Hornworm
The larval stage of this insect is a 3 1/2 to 4 inch long pale green caterpillar with white and black markings. There is also a brown form but it is not as common. One of the last abdominal segments has a spine-like red or black horn that that gives this insect its name. The adult is the Sphinx moth; a grayish-colored insect with a wing spread of 4 to 5 inches. The larva is the damaging stage and feeds on the leaves and stems of the tomato plant and leaving behind dark green or black droppings. Recommendations: This insect is parasitized by a number of insects. One of the most common is a small braconid wasp. Larva that hatch from wasp eggs laid on the hornworm feed on the inside of the hornworm until the wasp is ready to pupate. The cocoons appear as white projections protruding from the hornworm's body. If such projections are seen, leave the hornworms in the garden. The wasps will kill the hornworms when they emerge from the cocoons and will seek out other hornworms to parasitize. Handpicking is an effective control in small gardens. Bt - Bacillus thuringiensis - and other insecticides may also be used to control hornworms.

The loss of water from a plant, mostly from the stomata of the leaves.

Transplant Shock
Shock or trauma experienced by a plant when planted in a new situation.

Characteristic of a region or climate that is frost-free with temperatures high enough to support year-round plant growth given sufficient moisture.

True Leaves
The leaves that appear after the seed leaves, or cotyledons.

Varied in appearance or color; marked with blots or specks of different colors; varied; diversified

Vegetative Propagation
Increasing the number of plants by cuttings, root cuttings or division

Vascular rib of a leaf or flower

Heat expanded mica, used to increase water absorbing capacity. Also used to cover seeds that need light for germination.

Microscopic organism that will infect a plant and cause distorted or blotched leaves. It usually needs a mechanical or insect vector to infect a plant

Vitamin B1
A vitamin of the B complex that is essential to normal metabolism and nerve function and is widespread in plants and animals

Warm Group of Brugmansias
Refers to four species and one natural hybrid and are the most commonly grown species and their hybrids. B. aurea, B. suaveolens, B. versicolor, B. insignis and their hybrids (like Candidas ...). These plants will naturally cross pollinate each other without using chemicals.

Small, regular lobes on the leaf margin.

Any of various small whitish homopterous insects of the family Aleyrodidae, having long wings and a white waxy body, often injurious to plants. Adults congregate, feed, and mate on the undersurfaces of the leaves of the host plant. This can occur in such numbers as to create "clouds" when disturbed. They appear to be more active during the sunny daylight periods, and do not fly as readily during early morning, late evening, or night hours. Whiteflies also excrete honey dew which promotes sooty mold  that interferes with photosynthesis and may lower harvest quality.

To become limp through lack of water.

Winter Kill
To die as a result of exposure to winter conditions.