Monday, October 27, 2014

Which Datura are u-ra?

Photo by Ned Harris 10/13/2014

There are two species of Datura in Sabino Canyon. The one above is Datura discolor (Desert Thorn Apple). Click on the photo for a larger view and note the purple in the throat of the flower. The purple is always there in this species. I've noticed more of these this year, perhaps because of the 'late' rains. Look in the washes along the road, especially before you walk down the hill.

Photo by Ned Harris 10/2/2014

You're probably more familiar with this species, Datura wrightii (Sacred Datura). This species never has that purple in the throat, but it sometimes has some light purple around the edges of the fused petals. (The flowers of this species are generally a lot larger than those of D. discolor, too.) You can find this species all over in the riparian area above the dam.

Don't touch, smoke, eat, brew, etc. the leaves, flowers, or fruits of either one, though. All parts contains toxins that can cause harm, sickness, even death, depending on misuse.

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