I can’t be the only one who has accidentally grown a hallucinogenic plant in their yard, right? Here’s how I found out what was going on in my garden container.
That week, the #Gardenchat Twitter chat topic was plant identification. Participants were all talking about the plants and weeds in their yards that they needed help identifying.
I didn’t think I had much to offer to the conversation, then I remembered that weird weed that I’d let grow in one of my vacant containers. I’d figured it was just a tree sapling because it was quite woody.
But then it grew some long, pendulous trumpet-shaped lavender-colored flowers and freaky spiked green seed pods. That was pretty weird. Not like any tree I’d seen in the neighborhood.
So I posted a pic on Twitter, sure that it would be some super-common weed that all real, experienced gardeners recognize on sight. I felt silly even bringing it up.
A few gardeners did recognize it, but I was not expecting the ID. It was datura, also known as jimson weed, devil’s trumpets and nightshade. If ingested, flowers and seeds can range anywhere from mildly hallucinogenic to deadly.
I can’t believe we never saw any squirrels tripping in the yard.
Wikipedia and #GardenChat contributors (thanks @CountryglLiz and @Denise4003) both point to birds as a possible source of this weed, carrying seeds from who knows where in their bellies and then ever-so-kindly depositing them in my yard. Makes sense, since the container is close to our bird feeder.
So how do I get rid of it? Burning it is probably not a good idea. GardeningKnowHow says to basically treat jimson weed like a biohazard. Glyphosate. Gloves. The whole nine. Fun.