Monday, September 14, 2009

The Deadly and Hallucinogenic Datura Wrightii

Such a beautiful large white flower to look at, but it is deadly if ingested.

Datura wrightii is also known as Sacred Thorn-apple and Jimsonweed. The white flowers can grow to six inches (15 cm) across.

The flowers open late in the day and close the following morning. I captured this image at sunrise at Vermillion Cliffs so this flower was in the process of closing.

All parts of this plant are hallucinogenic and can be fatal. Many kids think it might be fun to try this plant out, but many became very ill and are hospitalized if they are lucky to live, and the rest die.

And you thought the only thing to worry about in the desert were snakes and scorpions.

18 comments:

Mo said...

Yes then there are the plants that sting. Nature isn't all beauty

Thérèse said...

Yes and in a few countries it is recommended not to fall asleep underneath these Daturas otherwise you may not awake...

James said...

Beautiful and scary.

I knew a guy in high school who ate a hand full of Jimsonweed seeds. He hallucinated for two days and was blind the whole time.
As far as I know he never did that again.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Living in Arizona for 27 years, I have seen snakes and scorpions, but I was not aware of this plant and do not know if I have ever encountered it. I was not in danger, however, because I never had the urge to pick up a flower and eat it.

The animals must know not to eat it. I guess hey are more knowledgeable in plant recognition that I am.

Sharon said...

I have a photo pending of this very same plant for my site. You beat me to it.

Halcyon said...

What a beautiful (and potent) flower.

Lois said...

Beautiful flower but very scary!

Boise Diva said...

Well, I can see by the description why some kids feel they want to take the chance - like a double-dog dare.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Looks so beautiful. What about its smell?

Don and Krise said...

I've never heard of this one, and I think Dave is right. Animals for the most part do know what to and what not to eat. Where that sense comes from I do not know.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

It's a lovely blossom...but scary too.

glenda said...

My word! I had no idea. Very interesting.

robert said...

What an interesting entry of yours. Living now five years here in Athens, made me see many weird things, insects and flowers as well. I will surely be on the lookout for this one, staying far from it - thank you for sharing this information.

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Jilly said...

We get warnings in the newspaper about this plant, saying kids use it to get high.

scottsdalearizonanews said...

Great photo. I used to have a Pentax K1000 a few...years back. I'm following your pics and blog with the Google friend connect. Pete

susieofarabia said...

Wow, great information! You wouldn't think such a pretty flower could be so dangerous!!!

pasadenaadjacent said...

Ha! if I was a kid I would have tried it

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