On the 15th of every month garden bloggers from around the world post photos of what’s blooming in their gardens. It’s an amazing list, which grows every few minutes. Hundreds of gardens, thousands of plants!
This is what’s blooming at Galeazza - Datura stramonium. Something between a beloved bloom and a wicked weed, it is known by many common names including Jimson weed, Devil’s trumpet, Thorn apple, Jamestown weed, Devil’s cucumber, Devil’s weed, Pricklyburr, Stinkweed, Hell’s bells, and Moonflower.
It’s so toxic that it is forbidden to cultivate it in some countries. I was given seeds by an Italian friend, and introduced it to the Galeazza Garden a few years ago. It takes up a lot of space, but I allow it to spread wherever it wants. Seeds of a purple and white variety of this flower are sold in the UK, where I suppose it isn’t feared.
Normally people only die from eating it when they try (and succeed) to get high off of it. It’s a strong hallucinogen, but if you ingest too much, well, bye-bye. Death may come not only because of the toxins of the plant itself, but for what you might do while on it; jumping from the castle tower because you think you can fly, for example. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned here.