Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Fairy garden visit

Writing about Stomps With Foot's fairy garden yesterday, and including the shot of the blooming purple sage bush that anchors one end, reminded me to post some more of her plantage.

Lantana. I got this one right!

Some kind of yellow flowery thingy
Update: Stomps With Foot says, "It's coreopsis."

Some kind of white succulent flowery thingy
Update: Stomps With Foot says, "It's the orange blossom tree."

Some kind of purplish flower dealies
Update: Stomps With Foot says, "It's balloon flowers."

Now, this is a photo of the lowly jimson weed.

It's hallucinogenic. Careful, careful.

Come to find out, is a hallucinogenic! Damn, those daze are gone for me but I may try to make a nice tea sometime!

If I hurl, I will let you know. On second thought, after reading this I decided against it!

Overview: Jimson weed is a common name for a plant known botanically as Datura stramonium, which has been used as a medicine and intoxicant for centuries. The plant's main ingredients are the belladonna alkaloids atropine and scopolamine. Since Jimson weed is native to much of the U.S. (from New England to Texas), it's most often used by young people in those areas unfamiliar with its reputation and unprepared for its side effects.

Street Names: Thornapple, stinkweed, locoweed

Appearance: Jimson weed can reach a height of 5 feet, bearing white flowers and prickly seed pods that split open when ripe, usually in fall.

Effects: The phrase "Red as a beet, dry as a bone, blind as a bat, mad as a hatter" has been used to describe Jimson's effects, and it does a good job of summing them up. All parts of the plant are toxic, so pleasant effects are limited-a big reason the plant is used only by novices. Atropine and scopolamine block the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, causing dry mouth, dilated pupils, high temperature (but reduced sweating), and blurred vision. Psychological effects include confusion, euphoria, and delirium.

Side Effects/Risks: Potential for accidental poisoning increases with higher doses. Symptoms include incoherent speech, impaired coordination; rapid heart beat; and dry, flushed or hot skin. In extreme cases, users can experience seizures, intense visual or auditory hallucinations, or cardiac arrest. A Jimson weed overdose should be considered potentially serious and medical intervention sought.

Addiction Potential: Since Jimson weed's effects aren't generally considered pleasurable, addiction usually isn't a factor.

Medical Uses: Because of its anticholinergic properties and antispasmodic effects, Jimson weed was used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of illnesses. Today, extracts are still used in treating asthma, intestinal cramps, and both diarrhea and bed-wetting.

Duration: Depends on dose, with most effects beginning within two hours of use and some lingering up to 24-48 hours.

Legal Status: Jimson weed is not a controlled substance.

Trends: Most Jimson weed use tends to be of the one-time-only thrill-seeking or curiosity variety, typically involving younger teens. Few statistics are available on use but, in 1998, 152 cases of Jimson weed poisoning were reported nationally, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Georgia O'Keefe did some fine paintings of the lowly jimson weed.

Whoa, she must've been trippin' when she painted it.