Tag Archives: datura

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

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Friday Flower Fiesta (9-8-2017)—San Diego summer flowers

Out & About San Diego

San Diego summer flowers for all you people who soon will be heading into fall and winter.

Lantana in the center and bougainvillea at the left.
Two of my favorites because they bloom throughout the year,
and it seems the more you neglect them, the more they bloom.Lantana and bougainvillea

Kangaroo paw
Also comes in yellow, but red is my favorite.
Kangaroo paw

Yucca, called Spanish Dagger in some areas.
In 1966 my uncle planted two of these at the sides
of the driveway entrance. When they bloomed, I was sold.
Yucca, or Spanish Dagger

Unknown wildflower
Unknown wildflower

Orchid treeOrchid tree

Water lily
Green water always bothers me.
Next Photoshop goal: Color replacement
Water lily

Hummingbirds visiting Grevillea flowers
The kind of picture I can get with my new
Tamron 150-600 mm lens, hand-held, no tripod.
No need to chase these flyers on foot anymore.
Hummingbird visiting a grevillea
Hummingbird visiting a grevillea

Jimsonweed, this one Datura metaloides
Datura are quite poisonous but they smell oh so good, especially at night.
It grows profusely in the wild here in San Diego. About every 5 years,
a group of high school students will pick the flowers and make a soup out of them. Drinking the soup provides a natural high. Unfortunately, one can also lose one’s voice, damage one’s vocal chords, burn one’s throat and upper intestines, and even die, usually from kidney failure. I am quite allergic to this plant myself so I have to admire it from afar.
Thank you, Tamron, for my 150-600 mm lens!
Datura metaloides

Silk oak
I spent years trying to find out what this tree was.
Then I went out hiking with some bird photographers
one of whom knew all the plants along our hike.
A good reason to hang out with other people.
Silk oak

Castor bean
The beans are very beautiful but toxic due to the presence of ricin,
and since they look like beans, people will eat them.
Four to eight beans will kill an adult.
Often ranked #1 on the list of most poisonous plants in the world.
This plant grows everywhere and is considered
an invasive species here in San Diego.
Castor bean

Wild rose
This flower is only about an inch in diameter.
Wild rose

Thistle
This plant bugs me when it’s by itself,
but a thistle patch can be quite beautiful.
Thistle

Unknown flower with dew drops
Unknown flower dew drops

Unknown flower
Unknown flower

Unknown flower
Unknown flower

Coming up next: The San Diego Jetty Cats.

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

 

Friday Flower Fiesta (6-12-15)—Now Arriving

Friday Flower Fiesta

It’s been almost a month since I’ve published a Friday Flower Fiesta.

Zoey the Cool Cat all relaxedWell, even though I’m still unpacking boxes from the move, cleaning things, and organizing the new home (with Zoey the Cool Cat’s help, of course ►), I decided that I simply needed to take a time out and enjoy some flowers. I’m now at a stage where, for the first time in my life, I don’t have a garden. Ah, well. I have one of the world’s largest botanical gardens just eight miles down the road: The San Diego Zoo! Yes, it’s an internationally renowned botanical garden, too, so be sure to enjoy the plants along with the animals when you come to San Diego!

Meanwhile, here are ten Photographic Art stamps of flowers that I have found blooming since my last Friday Flower Fiesta on May 15:

Spanish Dagger (Yucca)img_0291 spanish daggar stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Unknown Flower
(This was the only flower for miles around in a nature
preserve. I felt obligated to take its picture.)img_0318 unknown flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Rose
(but you probably knew that)img_0556 rose stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Coral Treeimg_0557 coral tree stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cliviaimg_0894 clivia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zinniaimg_0915 zinnia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Giant Hibiscusimg_1086 giant hibiscus stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bougainvilleaimg_1676 bougainvillea stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Unknown Flowerimg_1681 unknown flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

NOW ARRIVING
(Honeybee landing on a Datura flower)img_1691 datura bee stamp

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

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

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

Hibiscus

Friday Flower Fiesta from the San Diego Zoo

Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

How did we go a whole month without a Friday Flower Fiesta? I must be losing it since FFF is one of my favorite posts. Here ya go!

All pictures are from the San Diego Zoo during the past month. The first three pictures are of giant hibiscus, located around Flamingo Lagoon just across from the entrance to the Zoo. Giant hibiscus flowers can get up to eighteen inches in diameter and are quite stunning.

Some flowers, like the hydrangea, aren’t supposed to be blooming at this time of year. I have found, though, that flowers often get confused here in San Diego about when they are supposed to bloom. I think it has something to do with the weather.

Hibiscus

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hibiscus

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hibiscus

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Shaving brush plant

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Leucadia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Coral tree

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hydrangea

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Datura

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos