Youths once again fall victim to the call of angel’s trumpet

Two high school students became ill last week – one of them was hospitalized for several days – after consuming some angel’s trumpet, a plant known for its hallucinogenic as well as  poisonous properties.  The two boys were skipping school when the pair were seen wandering on Angus Street in Silver Lake on the afternoon of June 1, police said. Fire department paramedics were called when it became apparent the two youths were ill.  The two boys admitted to eating angel’s trumpet, said LAPD Senior Lead officer Al Polehonki. “It’s a beautiful plant … but it’s very toxic.”

Silver Lake resident Alison Foster witnessed the scene unfolding in front of her home as paramedics (pictured at right) arrived to transport the youths to a hospital:

“They were so far gone. It was heartbreaking to see. In the middle of the day. I asked one of the policewoman what they were on and she said ‘angel trumpet  its all over the neighborhood again’ … I am just heartsick for this child. It was about 2PM on a Tuesday. His whole life changed on my driveway.”

Police earlier this year asked residents living near Marshall High in Los Feliz to remove their angels’ trumpet after some students became ill ingesting parts of the plant.  Polehonki would not identify what school last week’s poisoning victims attended. But he said both youths were under 18. One the boys spent several days in the hospital before being released, he said.  “One was not coherent and the other admitted to drinking alcohol but said his friend had drank some angel’s trumpet after making it into tea,” Polehonki said.

Calls and emails seeking comment from Marshall High School officials were not returned.

Top photo by 3sth3r/Flickr; bottom photo by Alison Foster


  1. I have a different take on it. If this child’s “whole life changed” in the driveway, it may, in the long run, be changed for the better because he will have learned not to try everything that comes to mind or is suggested to him. Some of those things can maim or kill you.

  2. “His whole life changed on my driveway”? Losing your virginity, getting married, having a child, losing a job, losing a loved one…these are life-changing events. Trying to get high from a plant and getting sick? Um…no.

  3. Barbara , we want the same outcome. I hope that this child decides his life is far better off without these harmful substances.

    Chris, Three things. 1. Those boys were the same age as my son.
    2. No parent is ready to lose a child. He was in critical condition for several days. One follow up call i made , i was told “he may not make it through the night.” That to me , is a life changing event.
    and 3. I will not apologize for my compassion towards those young men. I wish you a happy and healthy life.

  4. I apologize- the OP said nothing about being in critical condition. I can sympathize with that. My mother was in a medically induced coma in an ICU for 37 days a few years back. Its not a good feeling knowing a loved one may not make it through the night.

  5. Angel’s Trumpet is a beautiful plant and I can see why people want to grow them. Rather than making people remove them I would think a more preventative approach might be better.
    If one of the parents could speak at schools in the area describing what happened I think that would be more effective than all the “don’t do this” lectures from school, police, etc.
    It’s an unfortunate fact that some kids will always look for ways to get high, to try something ‘new’. The usual anti-drug information doesn’t always work–but the reality that someone from the local area almost died….that’s a reality check that many would pay attention to.

  6. Amen Gabriele. They are exquisite garden features, and I don’t agree with people having to remove them due to the stupidity or curiosity of these yoots.

    A good lesson in nature is not always nice, maybe?

    That said, I do wish the very best for this kid’s recovery. How terrifying for the family.

  7. Ok kids, before you do something stupid like eat Angel Trumpet (Brugmansia genus) or Sacred Datura (Jimson Weed) please read some of the personal experiences related in Erowid.org. You will get honest personal experiences of people who have tried whatever. With Jimson weed they are not favorable using phrases like death trips.

  8. This is the 2nd or 3rd incident involving Marshall HS students this year. Maybe time for an school assembly? Show hospital pix

  9. There is no way I would ever agree to remove my beautiful brugmansias (Angel Trumpets), just because some incredibly suggestible and idiotic kids decided to ingest them. Sorry, but this is where I get a little Libertarian – they’re free to do something stupid and possibly fatal, and I’m free to grow my beautiful plant.

    Maybe these kids learned something, maybe not. And maybe their friends got the message – don’t pop something into your mouth unless you know it’s ‘safe’.

  10. I do feel sorry for these kids, because someone had grossly misinformed them. They are not 4, and they are absolutely responsible for their actions unless they were ‘special’ children. It appears they knew what they were doing, since they took the time to make a tea of it.

    I have grown Angel’s trumpets for over 20 years in my yard, alongside with very poisonous and beautifully attractive holly berries which look more tempting to eat than Angel’s trumpets, and are in front have never been subject to this sort of removal request. If we removed every plant that was poison, we would have to chuck half the trees and shrubs in our yards.

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