Friday 9 September 2011


A large and still burgeoning bush of this stuff - it's an Aquamarine Datura - has burst through the pavement round the corner from my house. It's rather lovely, in an un-English kind of way - and it is, of course, highly toxic, like all its kind (see under Toxicity here, and tremble). Should I alert the authorities? Or harvest the seeds (you never know when they might come in handy)? Are the plants finally taking over? I blame John Wyndham.


  1. Isn't Datura a hallucinogen? any students on your street you can sell it to?

  2. The fruit of this plant is a homoeopathic remedy for use in acute mental illness. Here's a snippet from Materia Medica -
    'The disposition resembles a genuine mania, distinguished by loquacity, hallucinations and ridiculous attitudes and gestures; the hallucinations completely possess the patient.'
    I wonder what you think you'll be using it for Nige?

  3. 'ridiculous attitudes and gestures' eh? Sounds ideal...
    Wikipedia doesn't exactly sell it as a recreational drug - 'No other psychoactive substance has received as many "train wreck" (that is, severely negative experience) reports as has Datura'...

  4. "...has burst through the pavement round the corner from my house..," you write:

    1) Our balcony last year sported three different plants that were poisonous including rhubarb and a huge castor bean plant. I told people "One bean can kill a man," to which my husband gently, finally, objected, "Why 'man'...?"

    2) My favourite doorway is in Hampshire: an 18th century cottage built for a royal mistress, with its own ghost, incidentally. The current, very old gentleman-owner noticed and nourished a delicate but bushy plant that spouted up right in the middle of the bottom door frame. It became so tall & wide that he had to use his back door. But, it was lovely, and then, feeling welcomed, flowered.

    I love him for his kindness to nature, despite its inconveniencing him.

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