A friend shared a few seeds of Datura stramonium, also known as Angel’s Trumpet and yes, Devils Trumpet and Jimsonweed. I planted a few in front of the vegetable garden in May. This photo was taken in August. In three months, in the right conditions, it became a respectable three foot by six around plant. I was charmed by the large openly serrated grayish leaves and the magnificent abundant flowers 5-6 inches across. It will reseed each year if you don’t remove the seed pods as they form.
Deer will not touch this plant. The main reason is its strong odor and foul taste. It is also a highly toxic plant, in small quantities, this plant is said to have hallucinogenic properties. As striking and beautiful as this plant is however, considering its high toxicity, even in the face of the unlikelihood of a person ingesting any part of the plant, if you have small children I would not plant it in the property. I came across this anecdote in the Cornell site of Agricultural sciences under plants that are poisonous to livestock:
Jimsonweed – Jamestown Story
Captain John Smith, founder of Jamestown
In 1676, British soldiers were sent to stop the Rebellion of Bacon. Jamestown weed (Jimsonweed) was boiled for inclusion in a salad, which the soldiers readily ate. The hallucinogenic properties of jimsonweed took affect.
As told by Robert Beverly in The History and Present State of Virginia (1705): The soldiers presented “a very pleasant comedy, for they turned natural fools upon it for several days: one would blow up a feather in the air; another would dart straws at it with much fury; and another, stark naked, was sitting up in a corner like a monkey, grinning and making mows at them; a fourth would fondly kiss and paw his companions, and sneer in their faces with a countenance more antic than any in a Dutch droll.
“In this frantic condition they were confined, lest they should, in their folly, destroy themselves – though it was observed that all their actions were full of innocence and good nature. Indeed they were not very cleanly; for they would have wallowed in their own excrements, if they had not been prevented. A thousand such simple tricks they played, and after 11 days returned themselves again, not remembering anything that had passed.”
Well, I am not willing to try it! But like the saying goes, “The right plant in the right place” If you have a problem spot with adequate sun, deer problems, and no small children around, this annual will fill the void and remain undisturbed all summer. Do you have a favorite deer resistant plant? To find out about more plants follow my links bellow.