Common Names: angel's trumpet, downy thornapple, toloache
Family: Solanaceae (nightshade Family)
This is my second summer here. There are still surprises popping up around the house. One of the first to greet me this year was calendula. Michele from Possum Creek Herb Farm sent me a package of seeds when I moved in last year, and *apparently* I planted them in the two front beds. I've searched for that packet over the winter, but since they did come up, my memory is just failing (surprise, surprise).
The next plant to pop up and give me a grin was jewelweed - beside the porch. Some seeds must have taken root when I was cleaning the plant to stick into the still last year.
Last year, I noticed a plant that had thick silvery blu-ish green leaves and some purple in the stems. It didn't do anything, so when it popped up again this year I didn't expect much.
Well, it has flourished this year. The location is very sheltered, and perhaps it is growing like it would in other, more native regions.
Here, we call two different plants "moonflowers". One is a vine that I've grown on a lightpost before. It is much like a giant morning glory. This one is a Datura, a relative of the Jimsonweed that grows throughout the fields, giving farmers headaches.
Sniffing around Google, I've found that the plant growing outside the door has some interesting - if dangerous - distinction. Called Devil's Weed in The Teachings of Don Juan, it was used for it's hallucinagenic properties. Unfortunately, the quantity needed for that purpose is very close to the quantity that is lethal, so we won't be doing anything there. Besides, life is trippy enough all by itself. I REALLY don't need any help in that department.
Another tidbit I picked up is from a VooDoo practice, where this plant was used to create a deathlike condition for three days, so that victims were buried alive conscious but unable to move or signal life. Lovely. Concombre Zombi. My daughter was thrilled by that, as she has some sort of zombie fascination.
In any case, the flowers are really lovely little saucers that open in the darkness and emit a delicious fragrance. They draw sphinx moths (which, if you've been reading for a while, you'll know we are polluted with those strange little creatures around here) for pollination.