11 October 2009

Jimson weed at Georgetown University

Many years ago one spring, a peculiar plant I had never seen before started growing in our backyard. Subsequently, it bloomed and the flowers were quite showy, so I let it live. And then it developed large, green seed pods covered with spikes. Only some time after it died did I identify it as the jimson weed (Datura stramonium), a plant loaded with several hallucinogens that are especially toxic to livestock.

Although the jimson weed is said to be a common plant, especially in waste areas, I have not come across it very many times. So when I spotted one last Friday while walking past the small stadium on the campus of the Georgetown University in D.C., I decided to take a few pictures of it. Unfortunately, there was a chain link fence between us that prevented me from getting close to it.

JimsonWeed1

Here is a slightly closer look at the seed pods.

JimsonWeed2

If I am remembering it correctly the flowers of the jimson weed in my yard used to open early in the evening. I used to think that they were probably pollinated by some night-flying moths, but never saw moths or other potential pollinators at the flowers.

1 comment:

Wallace Ward said...

Probably your Datura would attract hawk moths, at least from my experience here in Houston.