SOLANACEAE, The Potato family
The huge Angel’s trumpet with enormous, fragrant peach-colored blossoms was just one of the fabulous things at Cistus Nursery on Sauvie Island. Michael and I drove out there for a visit, and he loved their wacky logo. Their nursery’s theme is ‘zone denial': they have all sorts of things that are borderline hardy here, and just need the right microclimate to thrive, or are the most hardy of their otherwise unhardy kind. They have the best collection of cactus, agave and yucca in the area, as well as water plants, small trees and greenhouse plants, some loosely grouped by origin. The long display beds around the nursery and parking lots are interesting- lots of things that are new to me, at least in person, and that is exciting.
Brugmansia is a semi-tropical small tree that can grow in sun or shade. It used to be classified as Datura, and like that close relative in the potato family it is also very poisonous if eaten. It’s not hardy in Portland. Bring it inside as a houseplant from September to May or let it go dormant and keep it somewhere dim and cool but not freezing, like a garage or basement, and water minimally. Prune it back to strong branches before setting it out in spring. It’s native to South America.