14 May 2010

plants: By the Light of the Moon

I was giddy with excitment this morning to wake up to the bright white light emimating from my first ever datura flower.

Oh my. I planted a couple of these from seed last year, and they are really taking off this year.

Datura wrightii. Sacred datura. Jimsonweed. Angel trumpet.

I have so many great things to say about this plant. First, it's large, furry gray leaves are unusual in my garden.

Second, it's native. Third, the flowers attract my favorite family of insects: the hawkmoths (Sphingidae). Fourth, the blooms smell good (I can't wait to have a whole plant full of them!). Fifth: the seed pods are killer-cool looking. Sixth: the ephemeral flowers open mostly at night, and whither by mid morn. And finally, these particular propagations come with a story: they grow from pass-along seeds from a good friend Robert, who got his seeds from his mom who is now deceased. So, it's kind of like little reminders of his mom spread around the state (they are originally from the plains of Abilene).

The 5-inch long buds look sort of like enormous butterfly chrysalises. What's lurking within, ready to spread its wings?

But beware, this plant is also highly poisonous.

1 comment:

Amy Farrier said...

How exciting! And from seed, too. I planted mine in a pot, but hopefully it won't be too far behind with blooms.