Ipomoea batatas belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. It is native to the tropical Americas. It is not related to the "yam" (Discorea) and belongs to a different family than white potatoes.
Ipomoea indica is a member of the family Convolvulaceae. It is native to the tropical Americas and can become an invasive species in some areas.
Brugmansia is a member of the family Solanaceae and is native to tropical South America. It is sometimes known as Angel's Trumpet.
The family Solanaceae has long been a source of poisons and drugs. These substances include atropine, belladonna, henbane and scopolamine. For example, belladona or deadly nightshade was used cosmetically by women in the Middle Ages to dilate the pupils of the eyes, at effect considered attractive at the time. The same substance has been used to relieve pain, control coughing, and eliminate political leaders. Many species of Solanaceae contain tropane alkaloids which act as anticholinergic agents, affecting the neurotransmitter achetylcholine and interfering with parasympathetic nervous system function. However, many species in the family also provide important foods such as white potato, tomato, tobacco, green and red peppers and eggplant. Additionally, a number of species produce very fragrant flowers. The family has a wide distribution centered in South America. Most members are herbaceous, but some are woody. Flowers are regular and bisexual with 5 fused petals, 5 stamens attached to the petals and a superior ovary.
Brunfelsia australis is a member of the family Solanaceae. It is native to the neotropics and is known for its multi-colored flower.
Cestrum nocturnum is a member of the family Solanaceae and is native to the West Indies.
Plants of the genus Datura are native to South and Central America. They belong to the family Solanaceae and contain highly toxic alkaloids. Study of the fruit shapes of Datura with varying chromosome abnormalities led to some of the early evidence for the connection between chromosomes and phenotype.
* archival entry, not currently in our collection
Datura metel is similar in appearance to Datura inoxia, but has glabrous (hairless) leaves and fruits. It has historic uses in Chinese medicine, but is highly toxic due to the presence of tropane alkaloids.
Solandra maxima, also known as chalice vine, is native to Mexico and is a member of the family Solanaceae. The variegation pattern in this variety, especially the occasional branch with only white leaves, is consistent with cytoplasmic inheritance of the green coloration.