The Q&A Archives: Seeking Name of Plant

Question: I have received a hard, green, spiny seed pod about three times the size of a strawberry. The pod has a circular leaf-like frond where it attaches to the stem. I was told it is from a Moon Flower plant. Another gentleman in town has plants that produce the same pods; but only knows the plant as Bell Flowers. The flowers are white, 8 to 10 inch trumpets of about 5 to 7 inches across the open end. The plants are 3 to 4 feet tall and have a vine-like structure with stalks of about 1/2 inch diameter. The flowers have a faint aroma.

Answer: Sounds like the plant is Brugmansia, alternately known as Datura or Angel's Trumpet. It's an evergreen plant when grown in protected areas. Exposed to winter weather, the plant will die down to the soil, but will resprout in spring from established roots. It's possible to germinate the seeds; allow the pod to dry, then carefully remove the seeds. Plant 1/8 inch deep in moist seed starting mix, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm area. After the seeds have sprouted remove the plastic and place the seedlings under a source of bright light. Brugmansia seeds will germinate in 21-42 days at 55F - 65F degrees.

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