Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Brugmansia suaveolens (Willd.) Sweet

Frost tender open shrub or tree with elliptic leaves to 20cm long, and single or double, tubular-bell-shaped, night-scented, white, sometimes yellow or pink flowers, to 30cm long, in summer and autumn. The double form is more commonly grown.  To 5m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Recorded by Johnson’s Dictionary as introduced to Britain in 1733, but this plant was Brugmansia x candida. B. suaveolens was introduced into England from France in 1783, having in turn been introduced to France by Dombey from Chile [where it is not native] c.1780. Both were introduced as Datura arborea, hence the confusion. [BM sub t.4252/1846].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.179/1843].  Brugmansia suaveolens was part of the consignment of plants imported by John Bidwill from Kew in November 1843 [AJCP] but was probably already growing at Camden. James Backhouse informs us that B. suaveolens was a common plant in the gardens of Sydney by 1834. ‘24th [December 1834]. The evening was illuminated by lightening; in the town, the air, after sunset, was perfumed by the blossoms of Brugmansia suaveolens, a large South American shrub, cultivated in almost every garden, and bearing pendulous, whitish, trumpet-shaped blossoms, seven inches in length.’ [Backhouse – Narrative p.234/1843].


See also Brugmansia arborea (L.) Sweet.

My thanks to Alistair Hay for information on this and other Brugmansias. For further information see Hay, A., M. Gottschalk & A. Holguin (2011, in press). Huanduj — The Genus Brugmansia. Florilegium Books, Sydney.

Published Feb 27, 2010 - 02:35 PM | Last updated Jun 14, 2011 - 04:27 PM

Family Solanaceae
Region of origin

South America

  • Datura suaveolens Willd.
  • Datura arborea Mart.
  • Datura gardneri Hook. 
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Brugmansia suaveolens 

Confidence level high