Datura is one of those strange plants – I can never decide if I like it or not. On the one hand, the white, trumpet-shaped blooms are very handsome. On the other hand, a whole bush of hand-sized flowers leaning over the sidewalk can look a little predatory. They’re poisonous, too. Datura is one of the classic “witches’ plants” along with things like belladonna and henbane. Ingestion causes delirium, fever, violent and bizarre behaviour, extreme and long-lasting sensitivity to light, and – disconcertingly – amnesia. But the creamy white flowers and dense, dark green foliage are beautiful, so people plant them anyway.
It strikes me as a primitive sort of plant, like lilies and ferns. If you told me that you could have found datura growing in the Cretaceous period, I would believe you. It would look right at home with the dinosaurs.