Flowers of the Sacred Datura

sacred datura

sacred datura

Many beautiful flowers grow wild in the Desert Southwest. Sacred Datura (“Jimson Weed,” “Georgia O’Keefe’s Flower”) is one. You may see it along the roadsides throughout New Mexico.

These flowers are “one-night wonders.” They open at dusk, and fade very quickly in the light of day. But, aren’t they gorgeous while they are open?

Parts of this plant contain hallucenogenic belladonna alkaloids, which can be very dangerous, even lethal, if abused. However, belladonna alkaloids are found in medications to help gastrointestinal problems (“donnatal” being one example), and the vasomotor symptoms of menopause (the old “bellergal,” now available only as a combination of phenobarbital and belladonna alkaloids).

Various Native American groups have used the hallucenogenic properties in religious ceremonies.

I think it is simply a beautiful flower to be enjoyed when it opens at dusk and before it closes early the following day.