𝘋𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘪𝘪 , Sacred Datura
𝘋𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘪𝘪 , Sacred Datura member of the Nightshade family, 𝘚𝘰𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘢𝘦 is an herbaceous perennial that is nocturnal, opening at dusk and withering with the rising of the sun.
It occurs along roadsides and disturbed areas up to 7,217 ft (2,200 m). The inflorescence have a purple tinge along the outer edge of the inflorescence. There is a species that has a vibrant purple within the tube of the inflorescence that species is 𝘋. 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘳.
𝘋𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢 has a mutualism with the hawkmoth, which is its pollinator. In exchange for pollinating the inflorescence, the female hawkmoth will lay her eggs on the leaves. This is where mutualism turns mildly into parasitism. The reciprocity between flora and pollinator changes once the larvae begin to feed off the very plant that helped in their development.
The inflorescences are fragrant, especially on an evening walk when there is a mild breeze, its aromatics are luring just like a siren. They can cause a headache to light dizziness if inhaled.
It is a plant containing toxic alkaloids which impact fauna and humans. Cows and sheep have died from consuming the foliage. Humans have also died or have gotten severely ill from ingesting it. Those seeking it out for hallucinating have also been hurt or have died.
Indigenous people work with this plant both in shamanic work and medicinally. Cahuilla Peoples use of it as an effective pain-killer (topically), setting bones. Paste made to treat insect bites, stings and venomous bites.
There is this appeal and drawing towards working with toxic plants for many people. I’ve seen folks make products with 𝘋𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢 and promote its use without cautioning folks. I don’t agree with promoting the use of toxic plants because it can harm someone.
I have personally worked with this plant on occasion and reserve its use only as a topical. I don’t feel social media is the platform to be educating about usage of toxic plants because the audience is so vast that those inexperienced, novice including those experienced have been known to harm themselves or others.
Plants are powerful, we need to stop with the #plantlust and respect the plants.