Thursday, July 7, 2011

Datura

The Datura has really taken off in this heat. This is what I woke up to the other morning:



The scent was intoxicating in the morning! I can only imagine how strong it was overnight. I took lots of photos because the blooms were just so gorgeous!:



It is called Devil's Trumpet because of the plant's hallucinogenic properties and unpredictable results and possible death upon ingestion. All parts of the plant are poisonous and may be fatal if ingested.



It is also know by the name Jimson weed or Jamestown weed. From wikipedia:

In the United States the plant is called jimson weed, or more rarely Jamestown weed; it got this name from the town of Jamestown, Virginia, where British soldiers were drugged with it while attempting to suppress Bacon's Rebellion. They spent eleven days generally appearing to have gone insane:

The James-Town Weed (which resembles the Thorny Apple of Peru, and I take to be the plant so call'd) is supposed to be one of the greatest coolers in the world. This being an early plant, was gather'd very young for a boil'd salad, by some of the soldiers sent thither to quell the rebellion of Bacon (1676); and some of them ate plentifully of it, the effect of which was a very pleasant comedy, for they turned natural fools upon it for several days: one would blow up a feather in the air; another would dart straws at it with much fury; and another, stark naked, was sitting up in a corner like a monkey, grinning and making mows [grimaces] at them; a fourth would fondly kiss and paw his companions, and sneer in their faces with a countenance more antic than any in a Dutch droll.

In this frantic condition they were confined, lest they should, in their folly, destroy themselves — though it was observed that all their actions were full of innocence and good nature. Indeed, they were not very cleanly; for they would have wallowed in their own excrements, if they had not been prevented. A thousand such simple tricks they played, and after eleven days returned themselves again, not remembering anything that had passed. – The History and Present State of Virginia, 1705[Beverley, Robert. "Book II: Of the Natural Product and Conveniencies in Its Unimprov'd State, Before the English Went Thither". [The History and Present State of Virginia, In Four Parts (University of North Carolina): pp. Book II Page 24. Retrieved 2008-12-15.]





And a closer view. Just look at these beautiful trumpets:



Beautifully deadly. I'll be sure to include this one in my witch's garden I'd like to plant one day.



Just be warned that this one can spread like crazy around here. I do cut off most of the seedpods and pull up the extra new sprouts in the spring. But I don't mind too much since these are night bloomers and put up quite a show in the evening garden with the giant white trumpets, heady scents, and the giant hawk moths they attract.

2 comments:

Lancashire rose said...

Now that is something to wake up to. I had no idea that the flowers were fragrant.

NotSoAngryRedHead said...

I ADORE datura! It does grow quite rampant though, and I'm frequently trimming my plants back so they stop taking over the path. But the fragrance is heaven. If you go out at 9-10pm, it's very strong, and you can smell it from quite a distance. I wish there was a perfume that smelled like it.