Witches Lore: Known now as Thorn Apple, this plant has hallucinogenic effects. The name derives from the prickly fruits, and the juice from these fruits was applied to the mothers' nipples to kill unwanted infants.
Datura, Jimson Weed Seeds
Hedgewitch healers would place a fresh leaf behind the ear to prevent motion sickness. Also would make a fresh leaf poultice (applied externally) to allay pain of rheumatic and gladular swellings.
Heavier than the other daturas and therefore attuned to the Earth aspect of Venus, this annual plant is called Jimson weed because in Jamestown in 1676, it poisoned soldiers who made the fresh leaves into a soup. Magically, this herb has been implicated in lycanthropy and shape-shifting. It is interesting in relation to this that in the language of flowers, jimsonweed signifies disguise. Some people claim this is an aphrodisiac, probably because it is a Venus herb (the Kama Sutra contains a description of an ointment made from datura and some other herbs); I can see this plant being used in love magic only in the sense of trying to duplicate the stupification that this plant can cause. Its visionary qualities--and they are very strong--can best be accessed by inhaling the scent of the flower instead of ingesting it. Some consider this a Saturn herb, which makes some sense because of its association with a number of other plants that are Saturn and because it is one of the baneful herbs.
Because it is a New World plant, this was not traditionally grown in a witch's garden, but it's terrific in a Moon garden. Many Native American tribes used this plant medicinally, but my research turns up only the Alogonquin using this particular datura for religious purposes (they used tatula). Although reports of deaths connected to herbs are usually just thrown around without any substantiation, I have found reliable numbers that two people (probably children) died of eating this plant (probably seeds) in 1999, and a Greek man died of eating the seeds in 2004. More likely, though, is after ingesting this plant, you would sincerely wish you were dead. The biggest problem with members of the nightshade family is the unpredictability of their effect. There is no way to quantify this plant.
How to grow:
Annual. Seeds germinate in 2-6 weeks at room temperature. This is a tough plant that grows throughout the temperate world. Because it needs full sun and rich soil, it especially likes to grow in open places such as pastures, and farmers consider it a weed, but it will grow best if you amend your soil with leaf mould (composted leaves). Don't plant near tomatoes or potatoes, because it is a regular magnet for viruses that affect the nightshade family. Flowers light blue or white on a purple stem. Direct seed in warm, sunny location, or start in greenhouse in flats or pots. All the Datura species can be cultivated in the same manner, all contain stramonium and other potent alkaloids. All parts of the plant are toxic--leaf, root, flower and seed.
Organically grown 50 seeds/pkt.