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Brunfelsia pauciflora ( Cham. & Schltdl. ) Benth. flower close-up.jpg
Brunfelsia pauciflora (Cham. & Schltdl.) Benth.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Subfamily: Petunioideae
Genus: Brunfelsia

About 50

  • Brunfelsiopsis (Urb.) Kuntze
  • Brunsfelsia L.
  • Franciscea Pohl

Brunfelsia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae, the nightshades. There are about 50 species described.[1] Linnaeus named the genus for the early German herbalist Otto Brunfels (1488–1534). Common names for the genus include raintree.[2]

These are neotropical shrubs and small trees. The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, and usually oval in shape. The large, tubular flowers have five broad petals.

Typical habitat for wild species is light woodland and thickets.

Species in cultivation include Brunfelsia americana and Brunfelsia pauciflora. Brunfelsia australis is actively promoted by growers for its tricolored blooms and drought resistance.

Like many nightshades, some members of this genus contain toxic and medicinal alkaloids. The plants are known to be poisonous to domestic animals such as cats, dogs, and horses due to their brunfelsamidine content.[3] Toxicity in dogs manifests with strychnine-like gastrointestinal, neurological and cardiac symptoms.[4]

Brunfelsia is a genus of the tribe Petunieae, which also includes Petunia. This placement is supported by molecular data.[1]

Species include:[2][5]

Legal status[edit]

United States[edit]


Except for ornamental purposes, growing, selling or possessing Brunfelsia spp. is prohibited by Louisiana State Act 159.



  1. ^ a b Filipowicz, N. and S. S. Renner. 2012. Brunfelsia (Solanaceae): A genus evenly divided between South America and radiations on Cuba and other Antillean Islands. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 64 1-11.
  2. ^ a b Brunfelsia. USDA PLANTS.
  3. ^ Brunfelsia. Toxic and Nontoxic Plants. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
  4. ^ Clipsham, R. (2012). "Brunfelsia australis (yesterday, today, and tomorrow tree) and Solanum poisoning in a dog". J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 48 (2): 139–44. doi:10.5326/JAAHA-MS-5725.
  5. ^ Species Records of Brunfelsia. Archived 2009-01-20 at the Wayback Machine Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

Further reading[edit]

  • Plowman, T. C. (1979). "The genus Brunfelsia: a conspectus of the taxonomy and biogeography". In Hawkes, J. G.; et al. (eds.). The Biology and Taxonomy of the Solanaceae. Academic Press. pp. 475–91.
  • Plowman, T. C. (1998). "A revision of the South American species of Brunfelsia (Solanaceae)". Fieldiana Botany. 39: 1–135.