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Common Name: Oak Leaf Datura
Datura quercifolia is an annual plant that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
It 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[
South-western N. America - Arizona to Mexico.
Roadsides, 1200 - 1800 metres in Arizona.
Prefers a rich light sandy soil[
] and an open sunny position[
]. Grows best in a fertile calcareous soil[
This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
This species is 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[
Closely related to D. 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.
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.