I always thought my first post on this blog would be about dandelions. Or something related to what I wrote on the “about” page. Like why I started this blog. Or welcome to this blog.
But it’s not.
My opening post is about a plant that I discovered this past weekend on my property. It’s Datura stramonium, called Jimson Weed, and known by many other names such as Moon Flower (I like that one best), and I’ve been fascinated by it.
Jimson Weed is a highly toxic plant, it appears. It has been used in medicine for asthma, and as an analgesic during surgeries, and it is a powerful hallucinogenic. But according to the literature, the leap from medicinal use to fatal dose is isn’t all that far.
I’m not really sure why anyone would play with such fire.
But despite it’s deadly nature it is a beautiful plant, blooming at night, pollinated by nocturnal moths, with an interesting fruit that looks like a teasel. It took me forever to figure out what it was.
One of it’s most intriguing traits is that it has bio-remedial properties. I can’t find where I read that, but I learned it has been used at TNT sites to clean them up. Maybe it showed up on my property to clean up some bad soil. For whatever reason, it found its way to my land and, for now, it stays. Maybe once my orchard is established and grandchildren are running around, I won’t want to risk having it here. But maybe it won’t come back in the future. Maybe it was just a gift for me to enjoy this year – my year of learning new plants. I’ve never seen one before in my whole life, so I don’t think they are all that common.
This is what Moon Flower looks like by day….
Maybe you just learned a new plant along with me. Or if you know all about Jimson Weed, feel free to add that knowledge as a comment. I’d love to learn more about this unique plant.