A Special Plant
One of the plants I inherited from my Canadian friend was simply called “datura.” I thought this was cool because my office in West Palm Beach where I spent five happy years was on Datura Street.
The plant was large and had spiky seedpods. Soon it developed two distinct kinds of flowers.
When I transplanted it from its pot into the ground it became clear that I was working with two plants, not one. Some internet research lead me to the truth. What I had was a sacred datura, also called moonflower or devil’s trumpet and its close cousin, a brugmansia, also called angel trumpet.
I was startled by the names of the flowers. One of the first spiritual groups to which I belonged was called “Moonflower,” and the Angel Trumpet reminded me of the Judgment tarot card. Surely these plants were meant for me!
The seedpods belonged to the moonflower, and soon I had moonflower seedlings sprouting up all over. The angel trumpet is becoming a tree that is taller than I am.
Breeding the angel trumpet will be a more difficult matter. It can only be fertilized by one insect – the hummingbird moth.
When I lived in Loxahatchee I had a neighbor who invited me to see a hummingbird moth at his angel trumpet tree. I had forgotten about that until I saw the beautiful blossoms on my own plant.
Another interesting thing about these flowers is they are night blooming. There is something really special about plants that bloom at night.
Both of these plants are considered poisonous. They are from South America, and both are used in spiritual ritual as an hallucinogen. Sadly, here in the United States some people have tried to use them recreationally with poor results. Therefore, the plants are only legal in 47 states, and datura and brugmansia enthusiasts are very careful about with whom their share their seeds and plants.
There is a strong worldwide community of people who grow, collect and breed these interesting plants. I feel that I will have a lifelong connection to these beautiful living things.