Datura gigantea C.Huber
Datura hummatu dubia Bernh.
Datura villosa Fernald
Common Name: Oak Leaf Datura
Datura quercifolia is an erect, robust annual plant that can grow up to 150cm tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
All members of this genus contain narcotics and are very poisonous, even in small doses[
All parts of the plant are poisonous, containing various alkaloids, notably atropine (daturine).
South-western N. America - Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and through Mexico to Honduras.
Roadsides, and as a weed of fertle wasteland; at elevations from 1,200 - 1,800 metres[
Datura quercifolia is not hardy in the colder areas of the temperate zone, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
Prefers a rich light sandy soil[
] and an open sunny position[
]. Grows best in a fertile calcareous soil[
This species is closely related to Datura stramonium[
Fruit - ground up and mixed with clay[
] ( the clay probably has a neutralizing effect on the toxins). A very toxic plant, its use cannot be recommended. The fruit is about 7cm long and 6cm wide[
A stupefying beverage is made from the leaves and roots[
The whole plant is narcotic[
]. It has been used in the past to deaden pain, treat insomnia etc, but any use of this plant should only be carried out under the supervision of a qualified practitioner since the difference between the medicinal dose and a toxic dose is very small.
Datura species are extremely susceptible to the various viruses that afflict the potato family (Solanaceae), it can act as a centre of infection so should not be grown near potatoes or tomatoes[
Sow the seed in individual pots in early spring in a greenhouse[
]. Put 3 or 4 seeds in each pot and thin if necessary to the best plant. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 15°c. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Especially in areas with hot summers, it is worthwhile trying a sowing outdoors in situ in mid to late spring.