Thursday, May 19, 2016

Two Daturas

All photos copyright Ned Harris

Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii) is a very common plant in Sabino Canyon. It likes a little more water than your average desert plant; it's particularly prevalent along the creek. The flowers are very much like trumpets - large and loud! I've caught visitors picking these in Sabino (alas, I didn't have my guillotine at the ready) and have informed them that the entire plant is toxic, touching it can cause a rash in susceptible people. Fruits are spiky and golf ball sized (sometimes larger). The seeds inside are particularly nasty. Do not eat. (But do give to visitors who pick the flowers.) (Just kidding.)
Do not hold, fold, smoke rolled, or give to tourists bold.

Photo credits: Flower © 2016 T. Beth Kinsey
fruits: Marty Horowitz, Ned Harris

Desert Thorn Apple (Datura discolor) flowers are generally smaller that those of Sacred Datura; they always have purple in the throat. (See the flower above.) Note also the five fused petals. Equally toxic, too.

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