Botanical Name : Datura metel
Species: D. metel
Common Names: Devil’s trumpet and metel,Thorn Apple, Angel’s Trumpet, Hindu Datura, Horn of Plenty, Downy Thorn Apple
It is known under several cultivar names as; ‘Black’, ‘Blackcurrant Swirl’, ‘Cornucopaea’, ‘Double Blackcurrant Swirl’, ‘Double Purple’, ‘Purple Hindu’. It has also received many scientific names which should not be used for a cultivar:
*Datura hummatu var. fastuosa (L.) Bernh.
*Datura fastuosa L.
*Datura metel f. fastuosa (L.) Danert
*Datura metel var. fastuosa (L.) Saff.
*Stramonium fastuosum (L.) Moench
Habitat: Datura metel is native to E. Asia – S. China, India. Naturalized in the Mediterranean. It grows in waste places, river sands etc in sunny positions
The plant is an annual herb growing up to 3 ft. high. It is slightly furry, with dark violet shoots and oval to broad oval leaves that are often dark violet as well. The pleasantly-scented 6-8 in. flowers are immensely varied, and can be single or double. Colors range from white to cream, yellow, red, and violet. The seed capsule is covered with numerous conical humps and a few spines.. It is similar to D. inoxia, but D. metel has almost glabrous leaves and fruits that are knobby, not spiny. D. inoxia is pilose all over and has a spiny fruit.
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Black daturas (Datura metel ‘Fastuosa’)
A cultivar of D. metel with a polished-looking ebony-black stem exists as a garden plant. Its flowers normally have a double or triple corolla, each corolla having a deep purple exterior and white or off-white interior. The plant is already reported to have become naturalised in Israel (see illustration). The black cultivar might become a common roadside dweller, like its white-flowered ancestor……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Detail Botanical Description:
*ROOT – Branched tap root system
*STEM – The stem is hollow, green and herbaceous with strong odour
*LEAF – Simple, alternate, petiolate, entire or deeply lobed, glabrous showing unicostate reticulate venation and exstipulate.
*INFLORESCENCE – Solitary and axillary cyme
*FLOWER – Laege, greenish white, bracteate, ebractiolate, pedicellate, complete, dichlamydeous, pentamerous, regular, actinomorphic, bisexual, and hypogynous
*CALYX – Sepals 5, green, gamosepalous showing valvate aestivation. Calyx is mostly persistent andodd sepal is posterior in position.
*COROLLA – Petals 5, greenish white, gamopetalous, plicate showing twisted aestivation, funnel shaped with wide mouth and 10 lobed.
*ANDROECIUM – Stamens 5, free from one another, epipetalous, alternate the petals and are inserted inside the middle of the corolla tube. Anthers are basifixed, dithecous with long filament, introrse and longitudinally dehiscent.
*GYNOECIUM – Ovary superior, syncarpous and bicarpellary. Ovary is basically bilocullar but tetralocular due to false septa. Carpels are obliquely place and ovules on swollen axile placenta. Style simple, long and filliform. Stigma is two lobed.
*FRUIT – Spinescent capsule opening by four apical valves with persistent calyx.
*SEED – Endospermous
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Specimen. Prefers a rich light sandy soil and an open sunny position. Grows best in a fertile calcareous soil. This species is extremely susceptible to the various viruses that afflict the potato family (Solanaceae), it can act as a centre of infection so should not be grown near potatoes or tomatoes. There are a number of named varieties selected for their ornamental value. The flowers have an exotic fragrance, though the bruised leaves have an unpleasant smell. This species is closely related to D. innoxia. Special Features:Not North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Fragrant flowers.
Sow the seed in individual pots in early spring in a greenhouse. Put 3 or 4 seeds in each pot and thin if necessary to the best plant. The seed usually germinates in 3 – 6 weeks at 15°c. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Especially in areas with hot summers, it is worthwhile trying a sowing outdoors in situ in mid to late spring.
Edible Uses: Drink……The leaves and roots are bruised, mixed with water and left to stand for several hours. The liquid is then drawn off and drunk. This is a highly narcotic drink, producing a stupefying effect that it is not easy to remove. Caution is advised, see the notes in known hazards.
Datura is known for its anticholinergic and deliriant properties: D. metel is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is called yáng j?n hu? . The ingestion of D.metel in any form is dangerous and should be treated with extreme caution. The dry flower, particularly the violet coloured, if rolled and used like cigar, will help to relieve the asthma or wheezing like symptoms
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All parts of Datura plants contain dangerous levels of tropane alkyloids (highly poisonous) and may be fatal if ingested by humans or other animals, including livestock and pets. In some places it is prohibited to buy, sell or cultivate Datura plants.
Datura metel may be toxic if ingested in a tiny quantity, symptomatically expressed as flushed skin, headaches, hallucinations, and possibly convulsions or even a coma. The principal toxic elements are tropane alkaloids. Accidentally (or intentionally) ingesting even a single leaf could lead to severe side effects.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.