En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - October 17, 2013

From: Alpine, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests, Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Flying insects eating leaves of non-native Brugmansia in Aline CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have an Angel Trumpet tree. We live in Aline, California 30 miles east of San Diego. Little yellow and black flying bugs eat the leaves. Do you have a remedy for this problem.


Because this plant is non-native to North America (mostly from the Andes and South America) it is not in our Native Plant Database and therefore out of our range of expertise. Here is an article from the University of Vermont on Bragmansia (and Datura).

Be careful when planting this - all parts of angel's trumpet are poisonous, or at least narcotic in small doses.

Relatives include datura, nightshade, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and eggplants.

These are also called by the common name 'datura'. However, datura is an annual plant, while brugmansia is a woody plant.

Whiteflies can be a big problem for angel's trumpet. Cabbage worms, spider mites and aphids are also common. Other pests that may appear include cucumber beetles (in the Mid West), slugs and snails, fungus gnats (inside) and mealy bugs.

While we may not know much about non-native plants, we can refer you to some websites with information on whiteflies, spider mites and aphids, as those seem to be the most likely culprits.



More Pests Questions

Cenizos browning in Houston
October 01, 2011 - After this horrible drought, I am committed to xeriscaping with native Texas plants. The few hibiscus that survived have been transplanted into pots and are thriving. I bid the tiny boxwoods a fond fa...
view the full question and answer

When should cochineal bugs be on prickly pear cactus?
January 05, 2012 - I am a fibers artist that would like to harvest the cochineal bugs from the prickly pear cactus. I would like to know what time of year should I expect to find the cochineal bugs around the Austin ar...
view the full question and answer

Bugs on Arizona Cypress in Bellwood IL
August 27, 2011 - I live in Illinois and have an Arizona Cypress that looks like it is dying but I notice today it has bugs inside its cone. Can you tell me why and what can I do?
view the full question and answer

Spots on bark of Mountain Ash from Engadine MI
April 30, 2012 - I have a mountain ash that is about 5 years old & have just noticed white, patchy, scaly looking spots on the bark. Is this something to be concerned about???
view the full question and answer

Problems with Arizona Ash from Naco AZ
May 19, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty.. Live in southeast corner of Az. My Az. Ash is diseased. Just noticed leaves are curled, (still green) and when I open the leaf it has a zillion little white, what look like mites ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center