Brunfelsia pauciflora (Cham. & Schltdl.) Benth.

Last updated: 2016 Apr 07

Scientific Name

Brunfelsia pauciflora (Cham. & Schltdl.) Benth.


Besleria inodora Vell., Brunfelsia augusta Gentil [Invalid], Brunfelsia calycina Benth., Brunfelsia eximia (Seidw. ex T. Moore & Ayers) Bosse, Brunfelsia lindeniana (Planch.) N.E.Br., Brunfelsia lindeniana (Planch.) G.Nicholson, Franciscea augusta Regel [Invalid], Franciscea calycina (Benth.) Miers, Franciscea eximia Scheidw. ex T.Moore & Ayres, Franciscea lindeniana Planch., Franciscea macrantha Lem., Franciscea pauciflora Cham. & Schltdl. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Morning-noon-and-night, Brazilian raintree [2], yesterday-today- tomorrow, yesterday-and today [3][4]

Geographical Distributions

Brunsfelsia pauciflora is a native of Brazil. [2]

Botanical Description

B. pauciflora is a member of the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family. It is an evergreen shrub which can grow up to 2 m high with branching from the base. [3][5]

The leaves are alternate 2.5 – 10 cm long, oval and entire. [3][5]

The flowers are very showy changing from purple to lavender and finally white and are fragrant. The calyx is tubular, enclosing the tube of the corolla. There are five spreading corolla lobes saucer shaped and 5 cm across. [3][5]

The fruits are leathery, and with large seeds. [3][5]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

No documentation.

Plant Part Used

No documentation.

Traditional Use

No medicinal use. The plant is a popular ornamental especially for its fragrance. [4]

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

Toxic parts

All parts of the plant especially the fruit and including the roots are poisonous. [6][7]


The most toxic compounds in the plant include brunfelsamidine, hopeanine and scopoletin. Brunfeldamidine cause excitement, seizures and death while hopeanine cause depression and paralysis. Scopoletin (gelseminic acid) is a smooth muscle relaxant which can lead to hypotension, through neuromuscular block and decreased heart rate. This effect cannot be reverse by atropine. The toxic principles of this plant are water soluble and very stable. [6]

Risk management

While there are no reported cases of poisoning in humans so far, it is worthwhile for us to be wary of the potential poisoning upon ingestion of any part of the plant. Medical attention need to be sought immediately if berries or seed were ingested. [7]

Poisonous clinical findings

Animals consuming the plant or fruit exhibit initial excitement, anxiousness, coughing and vomiting, wretching within a few minutes to several hours. Muscular tremors, extensor rigidity seizures very similar to those of strychnine poisoning follows. There has not been any report of poisoning in humans so far. [6]


Treatment is directed towards the control of seizure with diazepam or pentonbarbital, along with parental support therapy during period of seizure. Activated charcoal has been recommended via stomach tube, however, emetics should not be used as they can instigate seizure. [6]

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List.  Ver1.1. Brunfelsia pauciflora (Cham. & Schltdl.) Benth. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 26; cited 2016 Apr 07]. Available from:
  2. Harrison M. Flowering shrubs and small trees for the South. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, 2009; p. 113.
  3. Fuller TC, McClintock E. Poisonous plants of California. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986; p. 235
  4. Kencana IP. Galeri tanaman hias landskap. Jakarta: Niaga Swadaya, 2008; p. 146.
  5. Gargiullo M, Magnuson B, Kimball L. A field guide to pants of Costa Rica. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008; p. 105.
  6. Knight AP. A guide to poisonous house and garden plants. Fort Colins: Colorado State University, 2009; p. 51.
  7. Queensland Poison Information Center. [homepage on the Internet]. c1996-2016 [updated 2010 Aug 24; cited 2012 Oct 01] Available from: