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gypsum weed seed pod

Jimson weed (Datura stramonium, a member of the Belladonna alkyloid family) is a plant growing naturally in West Virginia and has been used as a home remedy since colonial times. Due to its easy availability and strong anticholinergic properties, teens are using Jimson weed as a drug. Plant parts can be brewed as a tea or chewed, and seed pods, commonly known as “pods” or “thorn apples,” can be eaten. Side effects from ingesting jimson weed include tachycardia, dry mouth, dilated pupils, blurred vision, hallucinations, confusion, combative behavior, and difficulty urinating. Severe toxicity has been associated with coma and seizures, although death is rare. Treatment consists of activated charcoal and gastric lavage. Esmolol or other beta-blocker may be indicated to reduce severe sinus tachycardia. Seizures, severe hypertension, severe hallucinations, and life-threatening arrhythmias are indicators for the use of the anticholinesterase inhibitor, Physostigmine. This article reviews the cases of nine teenagers who were treated in hospitals in the Kanawha Valley after ingesting jimson weed. We hope this article will help alert primary care physicians about the abuse of jimson weed and inform health officials about the need to educate teens about the dangers of this plant.

It is best to sow seeds 1/8-inch deep in fertile, well-drained soil. The ideal temperatures for seeding plants are 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and the plants enjoy sun to part shade and ample moisture. Datura plants can also be grown from cuttings of mature individuals. Many Datura species’ seeds germinate in late spring or early summer and often grow in places such as roadsides, pastures, orchards, ditches, unmanaged areas, etc.

Datura plants need a good deal of room, and they can grow quickly to reach several feet assuming the weather gets warm enough. They are commonly seen in pots, but they fair best in the ground, though they cannot survive cold weather. They require very little by the way of pruning and have few if any pests, though they may attract mealybugs, spider mites and whiteflies.

There are different species in the genus around the world. Some people will consume the various parts of the plants as a psychoactive substance despite the dangers associated with it. The flowers of these plants will eventually fade and transform into spiny seed pods around the size of a walnut.

Planting Datura Seeds

To keep seeds for storage and future planting, the seeds must be dried, ideally on paper towels or other absorbent materials. They should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark area.

The Datura genus represents around nine species of poisonous flowering plants that include the sacred thornapple (Datura wrightii, USDA growing zones 9 through 11), jimson weed (Datura stramonium, growing zones 6 through 9) and toloache (Datura inoxia, growing zones 9 through 10). The plants are sprawling annuals or short-lived perennials, perhaps best known for their wavy, trumpet-shaped flowers that can grow in many different colors.

Gardeners prize Datura plants (Datura spp.) for their distinct, elongated flowers and odd foliage. While some people around the world consider the plants to be weeds, others actively try to cultivate the plants in their garden. It is not a particularly difficult plant to cultivate, given certain circumstances, and the seed pods themselves are relatively hardy. With some easy steps, Datura plant care is a breeze.

Mature sacred thornapple plants can grow up to 3 feet tall, and they branch out widely. Their leaves can grow up to 5 inches long, with short hairs and a noxious scent, traits that it shares with many of its peers. Their beautiful flowers tend to bloom from April through October and can grow to be 10 inches or longer in some species. Some researchers are looking into Datura metal absorption to remove heavy metals from various environments.