Tag Archives: brugmansia

Did You Know?—Euphorbia, Datura & Brugmansia

Did you know?

When I was living with my wise old grandmother from 1965-1973, one of my “chores around the house” was pruning the billions and billions and billions of oleanders forming a fence around our property. I hated those things (which is why I have never had oleanders on any of my properties) because I was severely sensitive to oleander sap. I quickly learned to wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and gloves when pruning those blasted things. Hmmm. Deep south Texas and a teenager working outside with long shirts and long pants. Hated it.

Another plant that I am overly sensitive to is actually a plant genus: Euphorbia. Some of you might know that the common Christmas poinsettia is a Euphorbia, Euphorbia pulcherrima. Poinsettias grow year-round here in San Diego and can get about 20 feet tall, making a beautiful statement at Christmas time when they bloom.

Poinsettia

Another common plant around our homes is the “Crown of Thorns,” Euphorbia millii.

Crown of Thorns

My wise old grandmother also had poinsettias and crowns of thorns, both planted along the driveway. Well, guess where this tall, skinny dude had his basketball court? Inevitably a missed basket would result in the ball bouncing over to the poinsettias and crowns of thorns, and breaking branches, getting sticky sap all over my basketball. Poinsettias and crowns of thorns were also on my “Never in my own yard” list. Because poinsettias and crowns of thorns are succulents, though, I have had them in my home and on my property simply because I plant them out of the way and forget about them. They can survive on the water that Mother & Father Nature provide them, and since they are out of the way, I don’t have to prune them. The Crown of Thorns picture above is from one of my past gardens.

When I arrived in San Diego in April 1993 and started exploring, I found a plant that grows wild, is very beautiful, and has a heavenly scent, especially at dusk: Datura.

Datura

Datura

I never saw Datura in a nursery, though. Eventually I found out why. It is very poisonous, especially their flowers and seeds, and people like me can develop a severe skin rash when the milky white sap gets on our skin. Their common name is Devil’s Trumpet.

Related to Datura is a plant that IS found in nurseries although it is just as poisonous: Brugmansia.

The Brugmansia’s common name is Angel’s Trumpet. The Angel’s Trumpet in the picture above is from one of my past gardens. It bloomed year-round, so the scent outside the master bedroom window was out of this world. I think the window was always open at dusk to let the fragrance in.

Brugmansia’s are difficult to find in nurseries and are usually carried by the smaller mom-and-pop nurseries. I recently found a small yellow one that is now outside waiting for me to transfer it from nursery pot to the ground, although the longer it waits, the more I’m thinking about putting it in a large glazed pot.

A side story to Datura and Brugmansia is that if the flowers are boiled in water, they create a “tea” that, when drank, creates a “natural high”—delusional and hallucinogenic euphoria. Sadly, this natural high can paralyze the vocal chords; cause liver failure, dry mouth, blurred vision, and incontinence; and even cause death. About every five years or so, some high school students here in the San Diego area learn the hard way about getting a natural high from these two plants. Animals, especially dogs and cattle, also are affected negatively when they eat the plants.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Friday Flower Fiesta (3-31-17)—Bad plant! Bad, bad plant!

Friday Flower Fiesta

Ten pictures of flowers from last weekend at the San Diego Botanic Garden.

Pride of MadeiraPride of Madeira

Tree Euphorbia
All parts of this plant are toxic.
Euphorbias include your common Christmas poinsettia, and the sap
from the poinsettia can cause skin irritation in many people, including me.Tree Euphorbia

UnknownUnknown flower

AloeAloe

Bearded IrisBearded Iris

Golden Chalice VineSolandra Maxima

AloeAloe

UnknownUnknown flowers

Giant HibiscusHibiscus

Angel’s Trumpet
A beautiful, fragrant (especially at night) but very toxic plant. Extinct in the wild.
Sadly, too many high school students believe that making a liquid from this plant
and drinking it produces a “natural high.” Instead, ingestion can produce visual and auditory hallucinations, confusion, tachycardia, dry mouth, diarrhea, migraine headaches, rapid onset cycloplegia, mydriasis, paralysis, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and death. The fragrance can cause throat and lung irritation, headaches, nausea, and light-headedness. Eye contact can cause temporary blindness.
In other words, “Bad plant! Bad, bad plant!”
Angel's Trumpet

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Friday Flower Fiesta (1-2-15)—Electric flowers

Friday Flower Fiesta

As my end-of-year present to myself, I bought Topaz Glow since there was a pretty good end-of-year discount.

I have found that it lends itself very well to busy flower pictures, i.e., those with lots of little doohickeys.

As opposed to last week when I included the original pictures with my Photographic Art productions, I’m not doing that this week. Simply enjoy the Photographic Art for what it is: not a photograph.

I would not want a huge collection of these hanging on a wall because I’d go psycho looking at them every day….

Zoey the Cool CatHuh?

Hold on….

A-ha! (not the group).

Zoey the Cool Cat tells me I’m already psycho.

There ya have it…. Expert opinion from the expert.

I do think any one of them would look good as a centerpiece, perhaps a 60″x40″ metal print….

My favorites are #10, #9, #4, and #2.

1
Wax-leaf BegoniaFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

2
Tuberous BegoniaFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

3
DaturaFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

4
BottlebrushFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

5
Flowering MapleFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

6
Angel’s TrumpetFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

7
Sausage TreeFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

8
Coral TreeFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

9
BanksiaFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

10
Angel’s TrumpetFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

11
EucalyptusFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

12
Coral TreeFriday Flower Fiesta with Topaz Glow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Anniversary?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat