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Sacred Datura / Jimson Weed

 
pollinator
Posts: 261
Location: Utah
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I found this in my yard this year, probably coming up from the seedbank as the ground improves. I thought it incredibly beautiful, and although it's poisonous I decided to leave it until the end of the season and simply cut off any expired blossoms.

Then I watched the bees, working those blossoms, unable to fly or fly straight, staggering up along the stamens to feverishly work on the pollen, falling again. Lay there stunned, unable to fly, then repeat the cycle. I've never seen bees (honeybees in this case--bumble bees seemed to ignore the plants) acting stoned. Unable to find their way out of a flower, banging their heads against the petals, lying on the edge of the flower until they got enough energy to crawl back to where they could get the pollen. Fifteen or twenty minutes of this, and the same bees just stayed there. Over time their disorientation increased. Addicted, I suppose, and stoned. I dug the plants out after that.

I'm OK with native plants, even poisonous plants if I can keep them under control, but anything that will destroy my pollinators is GONE.
Datura-flower-01.jpg
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pollinator
Posts: 420
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand
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Maybe you had a high octane variety. The ones around where I grew up in Tucson often had bees in the mornings before the flowers wilted in the heat, and I never saw any stoned ones. Apparently datura-laced honey is a risk, though. Here's a video of a full-throttle bee party on datura:



They're not the droids the plant wants...it's a night bloomer and the large white trumpets plus the signature fragrance are designed to bring giant sphinx moths, along with several cacti such as La Reina de la Noche.
 
Lauren Ritz
pollinator
Posts: 261
Location: Utah
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Those are definitely not acting like the bees I saw! :)
 
What a stench! Central nervous system shutting down. Save yourself tiny ad!
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