Central Park Zoo has a great collection of moderately hardy plants - the horticulturist there who oversees the grounds is always pushing the zonal limits for different species. I always love to see what he has growing there.
Brugmansia is one of these plants. Native to South America, this plant typically thrives in frost-free climates but has tolerated the Manhattan climate, for now.
Of course, it thrives in a warmer climate. For comparison to the above Central Park plant, here's shot of one growing in Barcelona:
Brugmansia is in the Solanaceae family, or the nightshade family. It is related to tomatoes, potatoes and some peppers. But, it's also related to some highly toxic plants and this species can be fatal if ingested in the wrong doses.
It's poison can have psychotropic effects, but it's toxicity makes ingesting the plant a very dangerous gamble. It has been used in shamanic practices by people from Peru and Amazonia.
Brugmansia is named for a botanist, Sebald Justin Brugmans.