Poisonously Pretty Datura Tatula
Sylvan came across this beautiful specimen while working on the farm this past week. He brought it to me during our lunch rendezvous and asked me if I knew what it was. I had a few guesses, but after no avail, he said with a smile that he thought it may be Thornapple. I took it home and before looking at any ID photos, I decided to just read the Thornapple ID description and it was a perfect match!…Except for one thing.
The anthers of Datura Tatula L. are usually white. I couldn’t find out anything about blue anthers and no description I read talked about the anthers ever being blue. I took it to one of my most favorite local naturalists, Lisa, but she was also confused by the deep blue/purple color. Either way, it is a Thornapple, but it may just be a super magical blue one!
Some might know Datura Tatula as Jimsonweed. It has also been called devil’s trumpet, thorn apple, stinkweed, pricklyburr, devil’s cucumber, devil’s weed, Hell’s Bells, and moonflower. It has been used both medicinally and spiritually throughout the ages. It’s seeds are dangerously toxic and the amount of toxins vary widely from plant to plant. It’s actually quite fascinating to read about the history and uses of this plant. I personally wouldn’t go about trying it out, as I’m not in the mood to keel over quite yet, but for the professional shaman or herbalist that does successfully use it, I honor thee.
It’s a pretty magical looking flower, with a seed pod of equal beauty. The stream of colors would make for a beautiful watercolor. (note to self: learn how to successfully paint with watercolor)