Thursday, July 24, 2008

Night-blooming Datura

Several years ago, my great-aunt gave me a flower pot with little green plants sprouting. She said when mature, the plants would produce big trumpet flowers that are "sweet-smelling and night-blooming." She didn't know the exact name, but called them "moonflowers." After a little research on the internet, I found out they are actually "datura" and are desert plants, and thus, very drought tolerant. Here's one of mine:



They easily re-seed themselves each year, and require little care. They aren't fazed when I move the "baby plants" where I want them once they sprout up in the spring. Here's where I planted them along my driveway. At night, they open up and they do smell very good:



They have a funny-looking prickly seed head after the flower drops off, and then at the end of the season, the seed head splits open and spits out the seeds (these next 2 photos are from wiki):





According to the American Botanical Council, datura has a long history of being used in religious ceremonies because it is hallucinogenic, but then too, I think it could be very poisonous so don't eat them!

5 comments:

Megrnc said...

WOW! Those are awesome!

Valerie said...

Oh, those are very pretty. I'm going to look around for a good spot to plant some!

Durham Bull Pen said...

@ megrnc and valerie: I'll save some seedheads for you this fall so you can plant some next Spring.

Like sunflower seeds, you can just plant them directly into the ground in the early spring and they should come up just fine.

Carmen said...

@ Durham Bull Pen

May I have some seeds, too. Those flowers are lovely.

Anonymous said...

You are right in thinking they could be very poisonous- they are! It belongs to the deadly nightshade family and is potentially deadly if injested, especially to children. Always wash your hands after handling any part of the plant or seeds and keep pets away.