I wish that my gardening posts could always be about high yields in the vegetable and fruit category and beautiful perfect flowers to photograph and enjoy at leisure.
It will never happen that way in this life.
Glancing out the sliding doors this morning [in response to insistant trumpeting from a starving horse] I noticed a clump of butterfly weed covered in butterflies.
I picked up the camera and started out.
Beyond the butterfly weed were some prickly-looking plants with tubular white flower buds.
From the rag-bag mind, the term "jimson weed" floated to the surface.
I compared my own photo to those on the internet, confirmed that Jimson weed [a form of datura] is not a desirable plant. It is toxic--to humans, to horses and cattle.
Having imparted this information to J. I trailed back out to the flower border which is languishing in what we are told is unusual heat.
A first cluster of bloom on the Hansa rugosa is sheltering Japanese beetles.
After breakfast, J. hitched up the mower and cut the rather scrubby area where the jimson weed was growing.
That is the ancient pear tree, heavily laden and leaning.
As Flower Lady pointed out in her comment, which popped up right after I published this post, not all datura plants are jimson weed. Dear friends in Vermont raised an old variety prized for the beauty of its flowers and shared seed with me. The plants are very decorative, but the leaves do have the nasty odor. Toxicity is shared to some degree by all species of datura, acording to my admittedly limited research. One article I skimmed listed jimson weed among a category of "witches weeds." Evidently one could request a bad potion for a rival and one of the more common ingredients might be ground datura seeds.
I was lazy in posting any links, so here, now, are two of the many available. Its interesting reading for anyone inclined to botanicals, folklore or herbal dosing.