Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Datura metel

Datura metel "fruit"Datura metel
This small shrub with spectacular purple and white trumpet flowers is just starting to produce its fruit which sometimes go by the name of devil's apple or thorn apple, as they are poisonous though related more to a tomato than an apple. I treat this plant as a short lived perennial as it is often difficult to kept it going over winter even in a fairly warm spot .It is unusual not only for the flowers but also for the stems which are black .The leaves are prone to insect attack especially spider mite which causes a silvery appearance and loss of vigor to the plant. Many Daturas are weedy and appear in waste places or vernacular parks (those areas of ground where you find some really interesting plants while out walking) but their flowers are so unusual and produced in such abundance as to be note worthy.
2017 update: I no longer grow this plant.

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