jimson/gypsum (weed)

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Tue Oct 16 01:22:40 UTC 2012

On Oct 15, 2012, at 6:00 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

> On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 5:35 PM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at uga.edu> wrote:
>> jimson weed
> I wonder why this has never been cultivated. Its lily-like flower
> isn't bad-looking. A little genetic engineering, and who knows? Its
> odor isn't particularly appealing, but neither is that of the lily.

closely related plants have been (and i've grown them). The wild species (of which there are cultivars):

Datura stramonium, known by the common names Jimson weed or datura is a plant in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family, which is believed to have originated in the Americas, but is now found around the world.
For centuries, datura has been used as an herbal medicine to relieve asthma symptoms and as an analgesic during surgery or bonesetting. It is also a powerful hallucinogen and deliriant, which is used spiritually for the intense visions it produces. However the tropane alkaloids which are responsible for both the medicinal and hallucinogenic properties are fatally toxic in only slightly higher amounts than the medicinal dosage, and careless use often results in hospitalizations and deaths.

the genus, which includes several cultivated species:

Datura is a genus of nine species of vespertine flowering plants belonging to the family Solanaceae. They are known as Angel's Trumpets, sometimes sharing that name with the closely related genus Brugmansia. They are also sometimes called Moonflowers, one of several plant species to be so. [or Devil’s Trumpet or Thorn-apple]

and the closely related genus:

Brugmansia is a genus of seven species of flowering plants in the family Solanaceae. Their large, fragrant flowers give them their common name of angel's trumpets, a name sometimes used for the closely related genus Datura. Brugmansia are woody trees or shrubs, with pendulous, not erect, flowers, that have no spines on their fruit. Datura species are herbaceous bushes with erect (not pendulous) flowers, and most have spines on their fruit.

Brugmansias are fairly common ornamental plants in coastal California.


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