13 hours ago
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
21 bud salute
I am fascinated with things that are both lovely and dangerous at the same time.
A short list is as follows:
Datura- A flowering plant that is part of the potato family. Also a Nightshade. Highly toxic if ingested. Has been used for centuries in ritualistic settings and for healing. Also called Belladonna and if you get toxin on your hand and rub your eye, your pupils will be dilated for quite a long while. Women did this on purpose during some long ago time as a beauty enhancement.
The first time I saw a Datura, it was along side of the road one summer. I first noticed this fast growing vine that sprouted almost overnight. Right in a spot that a Javalina had been smashed the spring before.
Within about 15 days, it had HUGE white trumpet flowers, but they seem to wilt as soon as they blossomed.
I looked up the plant based on the description and became very interested in it. That was 10 years ago and until this July, I have been just content to spot one on occasion while travelling around.
This July found us in Elgin, AZ (wine country) for a 5K race that Keith and our youngest daughter were running in. There was Datura everywhere. So I begged Keith to dig me up a root to take home. We only had a butter knife that I snitched from the B & B. He did not cover his hands, but I made sure he washed them vigorously and I got rid of the knife.
I came home and put the bare root in the planter and within a few days, she came back to life.
She has blessed me with 21 little buds. She blossomed for the first time 2 nights ago, but that bloom did not even make it until morning.
These photos were taken last night around 7PM. She is trying to attract the Sphinx Moth for some sexy plant pillow talk, but she will also settle for a bat. I noticed today that our local hummingbird crew is very interested in her as well, but I have not seen them feeding.
This variety I have is a wild sort. Also called Jimsom Weed. But there are other more tropical colorful versions that I envy and will have once we move to Mexico.
A great fictional book to read that Datura has a leading roll in is Hot House Flower-9 plants of desire. It takes place mostly in the Yucatan and is entertaining. It wont rock your world with insight and knowledge, but it is exciting and easy.
That's all I have to say about that...