Sunday, September 30, 2012
When I was on my walk the other day I did a double take when I saw these incredible pods. For years I have walked by this same driveway that always has angel trumpets growing at the edge, but I never noticed the pods before.
When I looked it up on Wikipedia I found a few interesting facts. The name Datura comes from the Hindi word for "thorn apple" and I can definitely see why. It also belongs to the classic witches weeds, along with the deadly nightshade, henbane, and mandrake (remember that from Harry Potter?) and was a well-known, essential ingredient in love potions and witches brews. Most parts of the plant contain hallucinogenic toxins and, if ingested, will cause an unpleasant delirium and possible death. The white flower of this plant is as big as my hand, trumpet-shaped, and quite striking and is sometimes called Moonflower.
When I read all this I picture lots of little witches alighting from their brooms on a full moon evening in October gathering these seed pods for their potions. I just know I won't be harvesting any Datura flowers for flower arranging this fall and I hope to avoid any such love potions this Halloween!