Sunday, August 31, 2014

You’ve Been Voted Out of the Garden

In my last post, I mentioned this mystery plant with spiky pods. It looks cool, but what they heck is it?

I googled “plant with spiky seed pod” and found some info from a reliable source: Dave’s Garden. Dave’s Garden is a great site for looking up plants. Not the best designed site in the world, but useful.

I found out my attractive mystery plant is incredibly poisonous. Various names for it include Jimsonweed, Devil’s Trumpet, Common Thorn-Apple, and Datura stramonium. Ah, Datura. Attractive plant, but highly poisonous – any and all parts of it. No wonder the seed pods are so threatening-looking.

 But look at the gorgeous flower...

What is this doing in my raised bed that contains vegetables?! I had planted two yellow squash here that I had gotten from a local nursery. This Datura must’ve been a seed in one of those plants. Here I was thinking it was some unusual plant I found that I had purposefully planted. I would never in a million years knowingly put a poisonous plant in my Kitchen Garden. Never.

Some people actually use this plant to get high, from what I read. Why would you do that when it can so easily kill you? I guess hardcore drug users don’t care about that. I don’t want this thing anywhere near my garden. Not when I have at least four neighborhood cats that visit my garden daily, plus my little next-door-neighbor friend likes to pop in for an unexpected visit every now and then. I can’t have this in my yard, no matter how cool-looking it is. 

It has really gotten big, too. It is about three feet high and about two feet wide. 

According to Dave’s Garden, it “May be a noxious weed or invasive.” Sheesh, gotta get this thing out of there fast. Last thing I need is more of these popping up.

Some people may think I am being too cautious. I know that plenty of people grow various forms of Datura as ornamental plants, including the well-known Moonflower version. And there are plenty of other poisonous plants that your average gardener grows and doesn’t even know it (I’m talking about you Digitalis!). But sorry, Datura, I vote you out of the garden. Because you’re such an interesting plant, will I pot you up for the greenhouse where there is no chance of child or animal accidentally eating you? I admit it has crossed my mine, however, it’s looking highly unlikely. Just can’t risk having you around. I un-friend you.

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