The fruit of the Datura shrub, full of precious seeds, is commonly known as a “thorn apple.”
“Datura” comes to us from a Sanskrit word meaning, “thorn apple,” and this plant has been cultivated for millennia both for its beauty, and for alkaloids it contains.
Known is some areas as “Jimson Weed,” this is one of those plants which is both poisonous and useful.
Used unskillfully, every part of this plant is poisonous when eaten.
Used by a skilled shaman, wise in the ways of plants, it becomes a useful ingredient for healing and learning.
The seed pod contains hundreds of tiny seeds, which will scatter when the pod ripens and cracks open in late summer or early fall.
Birds love the seeds, nectar loving insects love the flowers, and some species of caterpillar feed on the leaves.
The beautiful flowers, known commonly as “Moonflowers,” bloom mainly at night and in the early morning. They are wonderfully fragrant.
Of the several species of Datura, many are native to North or Central America.
This plant was used extensively by the native people of the Americas. Other species were know in Europe and Asia since ancient times.
This Datura grows in a friend’s garden.
She was kind enough to allow me to photograph it when we visited a few days ago.
And, she has promised to share seeds of this beautiful plant when they finally ripen.
The “Thorn Apple,” a container for the seeds of new life.
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014