Monday, July 26, 2010

Datura inoxia - Moonflower - Thorn Apple



Substance McGravitas said...

That's a nice-lookin' spire.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

P.S. From wikipedia:

Datura inoxia, like other Datura species, contains the highly toxic alkaloids atropine, hyoscine (scopolamine), and hyoscyamine. According to Hernández, the Aztecs called the plant toloatzin, and used it long before the Spanish conquest of Mexico for many therapeutic purposes, such as poultices for wounds where it acts as an anodyne. Although the Aztecs warned against madness and "various and vain imaginings", many native Americans have used the plant as an entheogen for hallucinations and rites of passage. The alkaloids of these plants are very similar to those of mandrake, deadly nightshade, and henbane, which are also highly poisonous plants used cautiously for effective pain relief in antiquity.[2] Datura intoxication typically produces a complete inability to differentiate reality from fantasy (delirium, as contrasted to hallucination); hyperthermia; tachycardia; bizarre, and possibly violent behavior; and severe mydriasis with resultant painful photophobia that can last several days. Pronounced amnesia is another commonly reported effect.[3] There can easily be a 5:1 variation in toxins from plant to plant, and a given plant's toxicity depends on its age, where it is growing, and local weather conditions. These wide variations make Datura exceptionally hazardous to use as a drug. In traditional cultures, users needed to have a great deal of experience and detailed plant knowledge so that no harm resulted from using it.[1] Such knowledge is not available in modern cultures, so many unfortunate incidents result from ingesting Datura. In the 1990s and 2000s, the United States media contained stories of adolescents and young adults dying or becoming seriously ill from intentionally ingesting Datura.[4]

So don't get carried away, hippies!

Smut Clyde said...

Pronounced amnesia is another commonly reported effect.[3]

It's a good thing I can't remember ever taking datura.

Jennifer said...


Willy said...

As a kid we had moonflowers growing alongside our house. It was good sport to whip the spiky pods at each other.

Had I known of their toxicity I'm sure my sisters would've had an unfortunate accidental ingestion.

Aunt Snow said...

Those things'll make you crazy. Here's one I found on the trail I walk: