Botanical Name: Datura quercifolia
Species: D. quercifolia
Common Names: Oak-leaved thorn-apple, Oak Leaf Datura, Chinese thorn-apple
Habitat:Datura quercifolia is native to Mexico and the Southwestern United States -( Arizona to Mexico). It grows equally well in dry and moist soils and requires full sun. It contains a mix of alkaloids that are poisonous and can be potentially lethal when ingested.
Datura quercifolia is an annual herb, growing to 1.5 m (5ft)
It can assume both a prostrate and an upright bushy habit, with bushier forms reaching up to 3 ft. in height. It produces green seed capsules armed with long sharp spines, which, like those of some Datura species, open by four equal valves. The funnel-shaped flowers are white and pale violet tipped with five short triangular teeth and are less than 2 in. long.
The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Prefers a rich light sandy soil and an open sunny position. Grows best in a fertile calcareous soil. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. 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. Closely related to D. stramonium.
Through seeds -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.
Fruits are edible – ground up and mixed with clay ( the clay probably has a neutralizing effect on the toxins). A very toxic plant, its use cannot be recommended. The fruit is about 7cm long and 6cm wide. A stupefying beverage is made from the leaves and roots.
The whole plant is narcotic. It has been used in the past to deaden pain, treat insomnia etc, but any use of this plant should only be carried out under the supervision of a qualified practitioner since the difference between the medicinal dose and a toxic dose is very small.
Unlike Datura inoxia Datura quercifolia does not have much ornamental value. Datura species are 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.
Known Hazards: All parts of Datura plants contain dangerous levels of poison 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.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.