Jimson Weed - Sacred Datura
All parts of all Datura plants are poisonous and can be fatal if ingested.
All four deserts of the American Southwest from Baja and Southern California, east to Texas and Mexico, and north through Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada.
Desert sandy flats, arroyos and plains from sea level to an elevation up to 2,500 feet. Often seen along Southwestern roadsides.
Large, white, trumpet-shaped flowers bloom March through November. Corollas are up to 6 inches long, have 5 teeth and are often tinged with purple or lavender around the margins. This flower opens after dusk and closes by mid-morning of the following day.
This stout, branched, sprawling perennial has long, gray-green, ovate leaves up to 6 inches long, which are covered by tiny smooth hairs. It may grow up to 2 feet high.
Thorny, globose, walnut-sized fruit (1-1/2 inches in diameter) has many small, slender spines. The fruit hangs down in all species except Jimson Weed.
Datura is a member of the Potato (Solanaceae) Family, also called the Deadly Nightshade Family. There are several species of the Datura genus, including D. wrightii, commonly referred to as the Southwestern Thorn Apple. D. stramonium is usually called Jimson Weed; D. metaloides is colloquially named Sacred Datura; and D. inoxia is usually referred to as Toloache. The smaller annual, D. discolor, is often called Moon Flower. It grows only 18 inches high and has a purple throat not found in other species.
All species of Datura have long been used by native peoples of the Southwest in puberty and other ceremonies because of the plant's halucinogenic alkaloids. People trying to imitate Native American ways have often poisoned themselves, sometimes fatally.
More about the Sacred Datura
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