01 January 2010

Theme Day: Changes


This is a Datura, photographed in the gardens of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild on Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. This beautiful plant, so common on the Côte d'Azur is a poison and a toxic hallucinogen which causes changes in the brain manifesting itself in agitated behavior and confusion.

Datura belongs to the classic "witches' weeds," along with deadly nightshade, henbane, and mandrake and has a long history in producing a changed delirious state and death. It was well known as an essential ingredient of love potions and witches' brews and sadly, the local newspaper, Nice-Matin sometimes reports on youngsters picked up in an intoxicated state having used Datura unaware of the extreme danger of the plant. Not the sort of changes anyone needs.

To see how other CDP bloggers have interpreted today's theme please click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

For 2010 I wish you happy changes, positive changes, changes that will make you dance with delight. Happy New Year everyone!

'If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.' ~ Author Unknown

23 comments:

Deborah said...

who knew such a pretty plant could be so dangerous

Mo said...

Happy New Year Jilly, and for Pete's sake stay away from that plant!

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

They're called Angel's Trumpets out here - beautiful but deadly. Very clever idea for theme day and nice photo too.
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2010.
Cheers.
Melbourne Daily Photo

Hilda said...

Wow. Thanks for the warning. I would never have thought anything that dangerous of this lovely flower.

Happy New Year! Again. :)

Ham said...

Hmmm. Must go look for some mushrooms ;-)

Kalyan said...

This was interesting reading...this flower is also very abundant in our part of the world too and call it by the same name....Wishing you also a very Happy New Year!

Kate said...

I think I'll join Ham.

Happy New Year to you and to all your wonderful canine friends, Jilly! Although I tend to comment on this and your Menton blog, I often visit your other one to see more photos of those beautiful companions.

B SQUARED said...

Here, I believe, we call the Angels' Trumpets.

Small City Scenes said...

Also called Angel's Trumpet and now we know why. The Angel is calling someone to their doom.
Great post. MB

Virginia said...

I'm addled enough without these toxic blossoms! Wow, you had to come up with TWO theme day photos.
Bravo,
V

slim said...

This beauty is really a beast! What an interesting post, Jilly. 'm confused enough without external help. Wishing you the very best in 2010.

Laurie said...

Wow, I had no idea these flowers were toxic! Cool choice for theme day, you clever girl!

Thanks for another year of beautiful work that reflects and even more beautiful soul. I'm so happy to know you, Jilly!

Happy New Year!

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» thinks the entire government of the U.S., especially the Congress, has overdosed on this hallucinogen!

Be that as it may, «Louis» wishes you Bonne Année!.

V Rakesh said...

Wishing you a very happy and prosperous new year!

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Now I know why I don't stop along the side of the road and eat the flowers.

I wonder how the goats have learned not to eat such plants.

Happy New Year, and best wishes for 2010.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

the datura, such a dangerous plant. I posted a photo of datura on my site this past year also. And who would know when looking at this flower, how hallucinogenic it is. Happy New Year.

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

o dear jilly i thought the martini was not for me and then i come here!

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

This plant grows the size of a small tree in my hometown (not in Michigan) - I always thought it looked rather like something the Addams Family would plant by their door!

Happy New Year,
Three Rivers Daily Photo

Kim said...

Now I know why these grow like weeds in the yards of Berkeley where I used to live! :-)
I had always hoped to plant one in my garden, but they don't seem to grow well here in Seattle. . .at least I haven't noticed them in anyone's garden here yet.
Very cool post!
-Kim

Chuck Pefley said...

I think this is one change I'd prefer not to experience! Fascinating that the bloom is at the bottom ... I assume they are growing in this fashion?

Happy New Year!!

Carraol said...

I want some of that (although typically connected with Peyote in the minds of the general public, one of the foremost users of Datura was Carlos Castaneda who claimed its use as an apprentice to a Yaqui Indian shaman-sorcerer named Don Juan Matus that is said to have studied under a "Diablero".
In that there are a number of species of Datura there is some confusion as to what Datura, Castaneda may have used. According to Castaneda in THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge a shaman-sorcerer has an Ally contained in the Datura plants commonly known as jimson weed. Don Juan called that ally by one of the Spanish names of the plant, Yerba del Diablo (Devil's weed) as well as Mescalito, with the ally taking on the form of a sort of plant spirit. According to Don Juan, as he related it to Castaneda, any of the species of Datura was the container of the ally. However, the sorcerer had to grow his own patch, not only in the sense that the plants were his private property, but in the sense that they were personally identified with him.)
Wishing you a wonderful New Year.

IamMBB said...

We see them in the US in the Desert Southwest where they are much smaller and are called Sacred Datura.

Eleonora said...

Datura is indeed very dangerous, but the smell is soooo good. Reminiscent of pepper, first kisses and summer. The flowers are gorgeous, even the ones tinted with a pink hue.

Lovely blog, very happy to have stumbled upon it.

Ciao
Eleonora
Roma Every Day

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