Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Serendipity in the 'hood

This amazing plant grows in our front yard. It blooms something like four times a year. Someone gave us a little bush -- and now it is 12 feet tall, at least.

I took the picture in order to test Google's tool for identifying the subject of photos. The tool flunked, unable to connect the picture, which looks pretty clear to me, with the name of the plant. Fortunately Erudite Partner got interested in the experiment and used her excellent Google-fu to figure out this was an Angel's Trumpet, scientifically, Brugmansia.

And from that Wikipedia entry, we learned:

All parts of Brugmansia are poisonous, with the seeds and leaves being especially dangerous.[19][23] Brugmansia are rich in Scopolamine (hyoscine), hyoscyamine, and several other tropane alkaloids.[24] Effects of ingestion can include paralysis of smooth muscles, confusion, tachycardia, dry mouth, diarrhea, migraine headaches, visual and auditory hallucinations, mydriasis, rapid onset cycloplegia, and death.[25][26][27]

The hallucinogenic effects of Brugmansia were described in the journal Pathology as "terrifying rather than pleasurable". ...

The next morning as we were coming out of the house, as often happens, passersby were looking into the yard.

A regular Mission homey asked: "What's that plant? I feel like it wants me to sniff it or something."

E.P.: "Probably shouldn't do that. It's called Angel's Trumpet and it's poisonous."

"Even to smell it?"

"They say 'yes.'"

"Okay, now I know ..."

I can't decide whether I feel I should be responsible for knowing the toxicity of what's in my yard or not. These plants are quite common around here.


Hattie said...

We have a few of those trees around here. They struggle a bit here so are not as pretty as yours.

Lori said...

Lovely. We have its sister plant Datura. (Large white trumpet and "hangs up".
There's a little rascally boy who lives across from us. So we decided to send his Dad, whom we know, a heads up about this poisonous plant. It sure makes the lane-way pretty.

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