Monday, November 12, 2012

Don't touch these fruits!

Photo by Matt Ball 10/23/2012

These spiky balls are the fruits of  Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii). They are about the size of a golf ball. Look carefully for them - but don't touch. And don't eat the seeds. If you do, you might not eat anything ever again.

As I've mentioned before, don't eat, drink, smoke, or lick anything (or anyone) you find in the desert. Especially not as a dare. That's just stupid.

For the advanced learner: Sacred Datura is in the Nightshade Family (Solanaceae). Other plants in this family also make toxins that can cause mild or major problems to animals who ingest the plant. Desert examples include: Desert Tobacco (Nicotiana obtusifolia), Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca), and Nightshades (Solanum douglasii and S. elaeagnifolium); but others have edible parts. Edible fruits include those of the various desert Lycium species (Wolfberry). Tomatoes (fruits) and potatoes (underground stems) are also in this family!

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