datura data

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The lovely, moonflower-like blossoms in these photos defy my skills as a photographer, but you get the idea. When we were visiting the east coast a few years back, we toured a heritage garden in Rockford. I spotted a strange pod on a bush that was otherwise bare (this being September). The gardener was nearby, so I asked her about it. “Oh, that is Angel’s trumpet” said she, and went on to explain that it came back each year from seed. Invited to take some of said seed home with me, I did. Each year, I would grow one or two in pots, where they stayed considerably smaller than the three foot plants I had seen in the heritage garden. Somewhere along the way, I shared seed with Michelle of Jockey Hill Nursery. This year I opted to put them in the ground, with the results you see here. Discussing it with Michelle lately, she warned of its reseeding habits. I like it enough, right now, to deal with swarms of seedlings, but we shall see if the romance holds up.

I had always thought that Angel’s trumpets were the dangling blossoms, similar in form to these upright beauties. Turns out Brugmansia is the dangler, while this is Datura. Both are commonly referred to as Angel’s trumpet…yet another example of the usefulness of Latin to pinpoint a particular plant.

2 Responses to “datura data”

  1. ricki Says:

    Margaret emailed me this, so I will add it to comments:
    Your picture of the Datura plant reminded me of my pharmacognosy courses at OSU way back when (it is the study of medicinals from plants). The professor was doing research wioth Datura stomonium (I think I have spelled it correctly - at one time it had burned itself into my brain) and we heard hours and hours about that. This is one of those courses that are just a sidelight in pharmacy schools now.

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