13 responses to “Datura wrightii”

  1. Tracey B

    In our explorations of the Utah desert, we have come across Datura spp growing near the ruins of the Native American groups that lived there centuries ago. We talked about sleeping near the plants to influence our “dreamtime”…never did though.

  2. James Singer

    Love these babies… and Joshua Tree, which is a great place to roam.

  3. chuck o'brien

    I’ve long been intrigued by this plant and its appearance in the Gene Autry song, “Back in the Saddle Again.”
    I’m back in the saddle again
    Out where a friend is a friend
    Where the longhorn cattle feed
    On the lowly Jimson weed
    Back in the saddle again
    If it is indeed poisonous, why is the doofus letting the cattle eat it?

  4. Richard Fisher

    In California, I was taught that the non-native Datura stramonium was properly referred to as jimsonweed, whereas our native Datura wrightii was referred to as Sacred Datura or Bur Apple….

  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Chuck, cattle will avoid it unless it is the only thing available to eat: Cornell University’s Department of Animal Science – Plants Poisonous to Livestock – Datura spp.

  6. Bonnie

    Our son introduced me to this plant and one with purple flowers. I’ve lost the purple one and last year gathered no seeds so what comes up this year will be from the parent plant.

  7. Terry-Anya

    Ha! So the moth thinks it’s flying!

  8. Isabel Wade

    Beautiful photo and fabulous write-up, as always. Thank you!

  9. MollymCA

    What a wonderful picture! I can almost see the scent wafting from the opening flower.
    My current plant was labeled D. inoxia by the friend who gave it to me ; I’ve grown every wild-growing kind whose seeds I can collect & am too lazy to key them out. None have the fascinating yellow glow, nor do any in the CalPhoto collection, and I’d love to know if it’s from the setting (or rising) sun or an unusual plant.
    Mystery addicts may remember several books whose plots hinge on the use of Datura, to kill or stupefy. In one story then new freeze-dried instant coffee was laced with the somewhat similar looking seeds of Datura.
    Berton Roueche (“Annals of Medicine” writer for the New Yorker for many decades) enthusiasts may remember the story of the family who showed up in the ER hallucinating. Clever detective work turned up the culprit: tomatoes grafted onto Jimson weed in hope of increasing frost-resistance & general vigor. “My neighbor’s been doing it for years,” the man and gardener of the family said. But the neighbor took the leaves off the Jimson weed and the inadvertent poisoner’s plants were big bushy Daturas with a branch or two of tomatoe growing from them… The story’s one of those collected in “The Medical Detectives,” too.
    When I was teaching Nature Study at Cal State East Bay’s Contra Costa campus I took the class to the denuded cattle acreage next to the campus. It was leased out & destined for parking & MacDonald’s and the like, so grazed to the dirt — except for D. wrightii and Doveweed (Eremocarpus setigerus at the time, now lumped with Croton) The few dozen cattle left were being fed but still destroyed every other bit of plant they could reach. (Ideal CA Ground squirrel habitat: bare hilly ground; the squirrels gathered seeds on campus & roadsides & took them into the acreage so it was great for snakes, hawks, vultures, & the occasional Golden Eagle — in case you wonder why we did field trips there. Also some protected pockets were fantastically rich in small vertebrate species.)
    Doveweed also has narcotic seeds and I’ve seen doves feeding on it (the dove clan are such junkies!) but haven’t happened to catch them harvesting Datura seed. I wonder…

  10. michael aman

    If anything in my garden speaks “summer” to me, it is this moon flower. It thrives in summer’s heat, repaying us with a bounty of flowers scented like water lily. They are fun to pick (extremely short stem)in late afternoon and allow to open on the dinner table in a vase in front of unsuspecting guests who will be treated to scrolls that magically unfurl during the meal to trumpets with flaring flowers the size of saucers. I can pretend that summer is not ending, but the datura is a realist. As the daylight shortens and the temperature drops, production drops off too. Allow some seeds to mature and fall and you will have a new crop of volunteer seedlings the next spring. If they are mulched or otherwise protected, I have noticed that some will survive the winter.

  11. Steve Edler

    Over here, across the pond, we have Datura stramonium, Thorn Apple, as a garden escape. In Norfolk it is said to be especially associated with former smithies. Blacksmiths were said to give a leaf to horses being shod to keep them calm.

  12. Heather

    The Daturas can be extremely invasive and are listed as a noxious weed in many states, some provinces, and many countries.
    I was first attracted to this plant as a food source for moths, but no longer grow it…

  13. Heather

    actually, not a ‘food source’ for moths, but of a means to attract more moths, and so then attract bats to my garden….

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