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Not For The Faint Hearted

datura.jpg

The Datura shrub or tree is native to the Americas, India and Asia in general, as well as Central and North Africa. It also grows happily on the island of Mallorca.

I like the ornamental properties of the plant and the trumpet shape of its flower. The smell is quite perfumed. The plant is easy to grow, and once established, needs little water.

Beware though. Daturas are of the deadly nightshades family and of the Magnoliopsida class; they are related to Belladonna, Mandrake, Henbane and Tobacco. They are intoxicating, narcotic and poisonous, and thus, not without some risks and a certain danger. The Datura plant belongs to the Solanaceae family and as such, also has hallucinogenic properties, not unlike LSD.

In the 11th Century, the plant was mentioned in the Arab Avicenna as a medicinal plant. In Europe, use of the Datura can also be traced back to pagan rituals. If you want to know more about the medicinal, ritualist or magic properties, I suggest you research the plant on the Internet.

If you just want to appreciate the looks and the fragrance in the privacy of your own garden, ask a friend for a cutting or some seeds, or consult with your local garden centre.

The photo was taken in the town of Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain. The date: December 19th, 2007. The time was 11:36:22.

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