Bizarre Botany: Jimsonweed

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5 Responses

  1. CW64 says:

    Wow. This just goes to show that one should be careful what one consumes. The effects just might be devastating and, even worse, irreversible. I wonder how it was discovered in the first place, hmmm.

    How is this plant treated/regulated in current time? Has it been outlawed yet? No doubt the FDA has taken a part in the issue.

    By the way, the last paragraph suggests not only a terrifying mystery but also an intriguing story to write. Great inspiration, in a morbid sort of way, hehe.

    Thanks for sharing, Laura. 🙂



    • admin says:

      Hi! As far as I’ve found, the mass poisoning was the first time the plant got any real attention and became known for its toxicity. I’m not aware of any special regulation, but there might be in the agricultural industry or with bee husbandry. Animals apparently stay farther away from it than people, so they won’t eat it. To me, the leaves resemble the dandelion, so I’m guessing the Jamestown people thought it was just a harmless green when they ate it.

      I don’t know of any ban on it. The information I found didn’t make it sound like the plant was rampant or widespread. I think, since it’s stinky and tastes bad, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to confuse it with an edible plant, so maybe they haven’t given it that much attention.

      I tend to find morbid things pretty interesting when they’re historic or well-established 😉

      • CW64 says:

        That certainly sounds weird. This plant resembles something along the lines of a “plant” monster that exists only in a remote area and has thriller written all over it; I can see this as the subject of a novel in more than one genre.

        In any case, the information is certainly fascinating, and I agree on your last statement. The fact that such information is morbidly mysterious is exactly what makes it intriguing. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Robert J Grieves says:

    This plant is very common, in small towns in Iowa you can see this in almost every yard grow along the fence line. With the weeds… The problem with the plant as far as recreational oredicinal use goes is that there is no know means of measure. No way to measure the potency, if you boiled a cup of seeds and made tea out of it. Had an experience that was manageable, the next time you may boil a cup of seeds and not feel a thing… Another time you may boil just a Tspoon full of seeds and end up in much troublesome to. Hospitals, stays in the assylum…

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