Thursday, 16 March 2017

JIMSON WEED

Datura stramonium, known by the common names Jimson weed or datura, is a plant in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family, which is believed to have originated in the Americas, but is now found around the world. Other common names for D. stramonium include thornapple and moon flower, and it has the Spanish name Toloache.

For centuries, datura has been used as a herbal medicine to relieve asthma symptoms and as an analgesic during surgery or bonesetting. It is also a powerful hallucinogen and deliriant, which is used spiritually for the intense visions it produces. However, the tropane alkaloids which are responsible for both the medicinal and hallucinogenic properties are fatally toxic in only slightly higher amounts than the medicinal dosage, and careless use often results in hospitalisations and deaths.

Datura stramonium generally flowers throughout the summer. The fragrant flowers are trumpet-shaped, white to creamy or violet, and 6–9 cm long, and grow on short stems from either the axils of the leaves or the places where the branches fork. The calyx is long and tubular, swollen at the bottom, and sharply angled, surmounted by five sharp teeth. The corolla, which is folded and only partially open, is white, funnel-shaped, and has prominent ribs. The flowers open at night, emitting a pleasant fragrance and is fed upon by nocturnal moths.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.



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