A beautiful but dangerous flower
Today’s Friday Flower Fiesta features only one flower but three pictures of that flower, as well as a little discussion about the flower.
That is a flower of the Datura plant. Common names include moonflower, angel’s trumpet, witches weed, nightshade, thorn apple, Indian apple, devil’s trumpet, jimsonweed, and henbane. Older plant books might also have them listed as Brugmansia plants. However, modern genetics has been able to separate Datura and Brugmansia into two species.
There are two main differences that will help you determine whether your plant is a Datura or a Brugmansia:
Datura is usually a vine with large, erect flowers.
Brugmansia is usually a bush or small tree with large, pendulent flowers.
Both species contain tropane alkaloids in their milky white sap, as well as the flowers. Tropane alkaloids can cause severe skin irritation, blindness, loss of voice, kidney damage, hallucinations, and in some cases, death.
Unfortunately, some children know of their hallucinogic properties and sometimes make Datura or Brugmansia tea to drink. Those same children often suffer permanent vocal chord and kidney damage, and too many have died.
Both Datura and Brugmansia look beautiful. At night the flowers open wide, becoming some of the most aromatic flowers on Earth. However, if you brush up against the leaves of the Datura species during the day, you’ll stink as bad as a skunk.
At the home I owned from 1999-2001, I had several Daturas and Brugmansias, and as soon as the sun went down, the aroma could be smelled blocks away. I did have to wear long sleeves and long pants whenever I pruned them because I have a severe skin reaction to the sap.
If you have either of these two plants at your house, protect them from children, dogs, cats, and unknowing adults.
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Posted on November 9, 2012, in Flora, Friday Flower Fiesta, Mother & Father Nature, Photos and tagged angel's trumpet, brugmansia pictures, datura pictures, devil's trumpet, henband, Indian apple, jimsonweed, moonflower, nightshade, thorn apple, witches weed. Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.