Back to the Basics...

          Datura stramonium at its base is a part of the kingdom plantae, and by nature thrives on a process called photosynthesis to produce its needed nurturance. Using primarily its leaves, jimson weed utilizes water, carbon dioxide, and light to produce sugars in structures known as chloroplasts. Also, the roots of the plant absorb nurturance from the surrounding soil to support the plants growth.
          Datura stramonium is considered a photoautotroph because it derives its energy solely from photosynthesis. In comparison the Venus fly trap obtains energy from both from the sun and from the consumption of other organisms. Jimson weed is resultantly classified as a producer which in term of the food web and the flow of energy through environments  is located at its base. Although jimson weed is not readily eaten by many organisms, it provides nurturance for countless insects and
detritivores  that can deal with its unique composition.


 Jimson Weeds claim to fame!

Cation: The potency of alkaloids in Jimson Weed varies incredibly. Without proper measuring techniques, the use of Datura stramonium for recreational can be very dangerous; sometimes leading to hospitalization or even death. Also note that the hallucinations produced by these alkaloids are more commonly referred to as deliriums as they produce a complete inability to differentiate from the real world.

          Datura stramonium is pretty basic when it come to its acquisition of nurturance, but the production of alkaloids, a common trait in the Solanaceae family, is what has made jimson weed a popular medicinal, recreational, and spiritual plant. However, there are other organisms in the Solanaceae family, such as tobacco, which are much safer to use.
          In the Datura sp. the three main alkaloids produced are atropine, hyoscyamine, and hyosine. In Datura stramonium, these products are produced in all parts of the plants, composing up to .4 percent of the total weight of the plant. As stated before the amount of each alkaloid varies greatly and the above percentage is not considered a hard fact because of this factor. For more information of the uses of these alkaloids refer to the facts page, not only are there interesting and almost unbelievable stories, but also a listing of the possible medicinal uses of
Datura stramonium. As a side note the production of alkaloids, like most other noxious compounds, are evolutionary adaptations to increase the plants ability to survive. Another evolutionary adaption that protects Datura stramonium can be found in it fruiting bodies, which are covered with spike/thorns.

Knowing how Datura strmonium lives is fascinating, but the reproduction page will touch on more characteristic features of jimson weed.

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