Jimson weed, thorn apple, mad apple, Moonflower... These are all names for Datura stramonium, a plant with a shady past. Known for its hallucinogenic properties, this beautiful weed can been seen around the world, including most parts of the United States. It is studied in the medicinal world, prized by botanists, and reported upon in news from time to time. Hopefully this website will inspire more people to keep an eye out for the common, yet exciting, Datura stramonium!

As told by Robert Beverly in The History and Present State of Virginia (1705):

          "In 1676, British soldiers were sent to stop the Rebellion of Bacon. Jamestown weed (jimson weed) was boiled for inclusion in a salad, which the soldiers readily ate. The hallucinogenic properties of jimson weed took affect.

          The soldiers presented "a very pleasant comedy, for they turned natural fools upon it for several days: one would blow up a feather in the air; another would dart straws at it with much fury; and another, stark naked, was sitting up in a corner like a monkey, grinning and making mows at them; a fourth would fondly kiss and paw his companions, and sneer in their faces with a countenance more antic than any in a Dutch droll.

          "In this frantic condition they were confined, lest they should, in their folly, destroy themselves - though it was observed that all their actions were full of innocence and good nature. Indeed they were not very cleanly; for they would have wallowed in their own excrements, if they had not been prevented. A thousand such simple tricks they played, and after 11 days returned themselves again, not remembering anything that had passed (Cornell University). "


In order to begin to understand Datura stramonium start with the classification page.

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