Together with Brugmansia, this genus forms the showy group of plants known as angel's trumpets. Daturas differ from Brugmansias in several ways, however: they are herbaceous rather than shrublike, their flowers are upright rather than pendent, and their seedpods are swollen and spiny rather than beanlike.
D. inoxia. DOWNY ANGEL'S TRUMPET. Perennial. Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11. Bushy plant native to the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. To 3 ft. tall and wide, with oval, pointed, downy leaves to 10 in. long. Showy, lightly fragrant flowers, 68 in. long, may be pink, lavender, or white. Good choice for containers.
D. 'La Fleur Lilac' ('La Fleur Lilas'). Perennial. Dwarf hybrid involving D. stramonium that reaches only 34 ft. tall and not quite as wide. Serrated, dark green leaves; pale lilac, sweetly fragrant blooms. Small size and compact habit make it ideal for containers.
D. metel. HORN OF PLENTY. Annual. Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11. Native to southern China and India. Grows quickly, reaching 5 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide by late summer. Oval, pointed leaves to 8 in. long; exotic-looking flowers, up to 8 in. long, in white or purple shades. Selections include 'Alba', bearing pure white flowers; 'Aurea', with golden yellow blooms; and 'Belle Blanche, with large leaves and white flowers. 'Cornucopia' features gorgeous double purple-and-white blossoms. This species self-sows aggressively; seedlings are easily transplanted, making it a favorite passalong plant.
Daturas are easy to grow if given fertile, moist, well-drained soil; full sun; and an occasional feeding with a balanced general-purpose houseplant fertilizer. They're easily propagated from seeds, which burst from seed capsules in late summer. Some species reseed rampantly. Where plants aren't winter hardy, store them in a cool greenhouse or unheated garage during cold months.