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:







Scuba Diving


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...


  1. We have tons of Datura here in Veracruz - Mostly the beautiful yellow variety - but some white as well. We have all the other stuff in your short list too - well not sure about the guns - but from what I read they are around here somewhere ;-0

  2. Very pretty bloom. I have heard people talk about Jimson Weed here in Alabama, but I am not familiar with it.

    Love your list, too :)

  3. I am not shocked one bit that you know all of that random information. Nate is the same way. It has been cracking me up. Miss you!

  4. Calypso- I have Datura envy for your guys in Mexico. They are so stunning and grow so well there.

    Ray-I suspect your short list is about the same.

    Kalster- Nate and I are members of a superior society that values random information and I am their Leader. LOL. Miss you too Peppermint feet.

  5. I love Datura and Brugmansia too. I think you got it confused with foxglove though, foxglove is belladona (digitalis). Datura is jimson weed,locoweed and I think but am not sure, devil's apple.
    I think it was in the potion that Ayla drank in Clan of the Cavebear.

  6. Hola Theresa!
    When I googled it, it said it has the same toxin as Belladona, so it just might be that both plants have the same nasty properties.
    I remember the Clan of the Cave Bear books. I was captivated for all (3?) of the books.

  7. I have two forms of tropical datura. One is the big yellow baby. The other starts white at the base of the flower, then becomes pink farther on.

    My eye doctor told me some months ago that your eye will be dilated for three days in you get datura stuff in it.

  8. Felipe- I have great Datura envy over your tropical babies. Sigh...today I put on my gloves and snipped off her wilted blossoms. Carefully put them in a bag and sealed it. Then I washed the snippers and carefully removed my gloves. I think next time I have to handle her I will use disposible latex gloves.

  9. What a beautiful and interesting plant. I will have to keep my eyes open for it when we are travelling south this fall and winter.

    Kevin and Ruth

  10. I haven't heard from you lately.