November 21, 2017

Double Trouble

Datura metel 'Double Yellow'

Janine Pineo Photo | Datura metel ‘Double Yellow’

If the Devil had a trumpet, it might look like Datura metel ‘Double Yellow.’ This shrublike herb grows wild in warmer regions around the world and has been around so long that it isn’t exactly clear where the plant originated. Called devil’s trumpet and angel’s trumpet (well, the Devil was an angel once), daturas are known for their beauty but also because of their toxicity. Along with brugmansia, a close relative, daturas are well-known for causing delirium and even death if any part of the plant is ingested. According to Johnny’s Selected Seed, ‘Double Yellow’ grows to about 20 inches in height, making an impression with its velvety leaves and large trumpets. As for the difference between datura and brugmansia, there’s a fairly quick way to tell the difference: look at the flowers. Brugmansia blooms hang down like a pendulum while datura lifts its trumpets to the sky.