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Sep 03

Be Forewarned About the Datura Inoxia (Devil’s Trumpet) Flower

Datura Inoxia (Devil's Trumpet)

Last year I received a white trumpet flower plant from a friend and I liked it right from the beginning. I mean you have large white blooms and nice foliage. It is what my little flower garden needed: some green with a Pop of white. What’s not to like, right? Then as I always do, I did some research on the internet, and I found out some interesting information about the Datura Inoxia (Devil’s Trumpet) plant that I now possess.  This plant has a dark side.

The most obvious item is the ominous Devil’s Trumpet name. Many have heard of the Angel’s Trumpet flower, in which the blooms droop down. Well, my friends, the Devil’s Trumpet blooms upward as in a trumpet from not heaven but hell. Devil’s trumpet is grown in all but the coldest climates as a flowering ornamental. There are white, purple, and yellow varieties with large, single and double blossoms available. Devil’s trumpet grows naturally in disturbed areas such as eroded sites, old fields, vacant lots, overgrazed pastures and rangeland, roadsides and abandoned roadbeds, and fencerows. Apparently, disturbance and reduced competition are required for the plant to become established and grow. A wide variety of well-drained soils on both igneous and sedimentary parent materials are suitable.

 

The Datura Inoxia (Devil’s Trumpet) Dark Past, Present and Future: Use With Caution

From ancient times continuing to the present, the taking of Datura tissues, particularly the seeds, was used in shamanistic rituals as a path to enlightenment. Today, people frequently experiment with it for the hallucinogenic effect, but the results are so unpleasant (dark visions, disorientation, amnesia, blurred vision, dry mouth, and incontinence) that they seldom recommend the experience. Overdoses can result in death. The plant has been used to treat impotence, asthma, diarrhea, as an analgesic, to control fever, kill parasites, and as a drug for criminal purposes. Devil’s trumpet contains a host of phytoactive chemicals including atropine, hyoscyamine, hyoscine, scopolamine, norscopolamine, meteloidine, hydroxy-6- hyoscyamine, tiglic esters of dihydroxytropine, and a number of withanolides. It causes erratic behavior and even death of livestock that have eaten it, but it is seldom a problem for pastured animals because they carefully avoid consuming it.

Hummingbirds sometime visit the flowers, but are affected by the alkaloids in the nectar and must limit their consumption. Honeybees are apparently unaffected. The flowers have an intense night fragrance, which perhaps helps attract night-flying moths.

I like my Devil’s Trumpet flower, but with all that is going on with this plant, I couldn’t recommend it to everyone.  Come to think of it, I guess it has Devil in its name for more reasons than one. You’ve been warned.

Source: John K. Francis, Research Forester,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
International Institute of Tropical Forestry,
Jardín Botánico Sur, 1201 Calle Ceiba, San Juan PR 00926-1119,
in cooperation with the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, PR 00936-4984

26 comments

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  1. Maricel

    Blogs are a great way to connect strangers, share experience and provide useful information. You have achieved just that. Thanks for the share.

  2. Audria

    I actually just got these plants from the garden at my office and is about to plant them at home. Your post is good information thank you. Please note that all parts of the Angel Trumpet is also extremely toxic. I should hope that we enjoy the plants for their beauty and not try to experiment with them.

  3. Marie

    I thought the ones that faced upwards were Datura and those that hang down were Brugmansia. I had never heard of Devil’s trumpet before this, but knew Datura is toxic and can even cause skin rash.

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  6. John Cole

    Awfully educational appreciate it, I think your trusty readers would definitely want way more items of this nature continue the good effort.

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    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me

  8. Candis J Cox

    You didn’t talk about that great sweet, peanut butter, smell! I LOVE it…..and it is so happy, it has taken over my back garden….I DO NOT EAT IT..BUT THEN, I HAVEN’T TRIED TO KILL ANYONE, YET…I am just a bad cook!

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  10. carol

    The Devils Trumpet are beautiful.I have some seeds and plan to plant them,but,after your blog Im nervous,I have golden retrievers and Im worried about my puppy getting at the plant.I plan to plant it out by the road,if she did happen to get into it are the leaves and blossoms going to hurt her.Im now thinking is the danger worth the beauty?

    1. David

      Would you care to share some of your seeds? I would like to grow it in my garden in Toronto.

  11. james

    datura is a very strong hullucigen but can only giv affect from the big brown seed pods that grow on there .. from taking the seeds u can feel the effects.. BUT I REPEAT DO NOT TAKE DATURA U WILL NOT LIKE IT !i know some people that have taken it and these are well season vets to the drug world.. and they will NEVER DO IT AGIAN !

  12. Trea graham

    Nice to know but I love the smell in a cool summer night.

  13. Von Hester

    I had a double purple devil trumpet last year. It was beautiful! I saved the seeds and tried to reproduce them this year but they never got more than 4 or 5 inches and did not bloom. What do you think I did wrong. So dissapointed!

    1. Clay Miller

      I don’t know if you did anything wrong. The white devil’s trumpet that I have comes back every year without me having to do anything. I guess the double purple devil’s trumpet is different. Sorry it didn’t work out for you. Maybe save the seeds and try again next year.

  14. Misspuggles

    I had planted the seeds 2years ago the just came up this year,

  15. Layla

    What about the spiny green fruit that grows from it? I have many in my backyard and have tried many times to get rid of it and kill it. It never works. They are beautiful though.

  16. ellie

    I have Datura Metel which is the double purple trumpet flowers, it has beautiful dark stems & the underside of the leaves are dark, the seed pods are unusual & look nothing like Datura Stamonium, Ferox or Inoxia. The alkaloids in these plants having amazing uses in botanical medicine, in fact years ago it was used as an asthma drug. Many studies are being done with this amazing plant to use it as a cancer treatment, it has also been used as an anti-fungal, vermifuge, anti-inflammtary, topical pain killer to name but a few. It makes me sad that this beautiful and exceptionally useful plant is abused & so misunderstood. I also have many Datura Stramonium and also 16+ Brugmansia, I love my trumpet flowers and could never see them as having a dark side.

  17. Red Crow

    Light, dark… both illusions of a naive mind. Keep growing, you’ll see.

  18. Meg Farrington

    Wow, good to know, I had no idea!

  19. betsy bean

    Help I’m having problem’s with my Devil’s trumpet something is eating the leaves and I’m afraid I’m going to lose them forever! I don’t see any slugs, or snails or any kind of bugs, I started spraying soap water on them, but think it may be to late

  20. Christine Feldpausch

    Around me in Michigan, it is called Moonflower.

  21. Chris Ott

    My datura was being eatin by tomatoe worms.
    I would love some seeds for the purple trumpets if anyone would like to share

  22. Groubn

    No sympathy for the Devils Trumpet; keep that in mind. I had done quite a bit of research on psychoactive plants and chemicals. This was one of the plants that I studied and found quite interesting, it had beautiful white flowers and sprouted out of nice green foliage that was similar to potatoe plant. The above picture is exactly what is found all over southern California and later I discovered it in my home state of Wisconsin. Long story short I eventually made a tea of the plant and consumed it with my girlfriend and went out for a night of fun in San Diego. the experience was heavy hallucinations that came and went, confusion, disorientation, dry mouth, and blurred vision that lasted for two days. The hallucinations where quite different from lsd, masculine and psilocybin. At one point I was reading a book and my vision was so blurred that I couldn’t make out the word any more. The book was so great that I couldn’t put it down but I could make out the words so I was fighting with all my remaining strength to continue reading. My sister yelled back at me (she was driving I was in the back seat) something in German maybe. I suddenly became aware I wasn’t holding a book I was clenching onto the handle of the door and the bottle of tea that I had made and the words I was reading scattered into nothing. We went to some type of show at a coffee house and to this day I still can not eat tofu dogs or listen to Jack Johnson. The experience was completely awful the hallucinations were very realistic and some quite disturbing. My vision was broadcast to my brain in soft focus for the next two days and bits of hallucinations came into vivid memory for the next several days. The short list of visions peeing blood, bleeding eyes, people with blood in their mouth and totally black eyes, deranged and disfigured faces returning to normal at second glance. The overwhelming feeling of impending doom as well as complete nihilism. This would be my drug of choice if I was looking to torture and extract information from someone maybe in combination with lsd and opiate withdrawal. On a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 being bad I would rate it at -10 for being absolutely awful. my girlfriend had a very similar experience with only slight differences in visions. The experience was not without purpose, it was a trip and with every journey there are lessons learned. It was a journey we would absolutely never buy a ticket for again. I can not see any legitimate recreational or medical purpose for this plant it does look really pretty though.

  23. Susan Smith

    When i lived in Florida I had a very beautiful yellow Angel Trumpet tree. I had no idea of the dark side of this plant. When I returned to Nova Scotia i bought a white Devil’s Trumpet at a roadside stand. That year the plant was banned by the NS Government as being too dangerous to children and animals. If you were caught growing the plant you were subjected tomleavS a heavy fine.

  24. Robert

    Both plants use to use the name Datura, but the scientists thought to divide the plants with upright flowers from the ones where the flowers hung down. The ones with the flower hanging down(Angel Trumpets) are now called Brugmansia, the Devil ones are still Datura, and I believe they both belong to the Nightshade family of plants. I know of a couple of kids in South Florida died because they were looking to trip, was in the local paper.

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