Seed saving: beginner
Stramonium (Datura stramonium)
Stramonium: (Datura stramonium): also called the Devil's weed. It is rich in alkaloids concentrations that get to be very toxic in the whole plant; common stramonium has a leading role in European ethnobotany, because of its uses, its psychotropic effects and in phytotherapy. Scopolamine, the main alkaloid contained in the plant, has multiple effects. The uneven concentration of the alkaloid in the various parts of the plant is what renders it so difficult to use. The muscle relaxing effect was used to calm asthma attacks by inhaling the smoke from dry leaves. It is also used as a strong analgesic. The plant belongs to the solanaceae, it produces white flowers that in Autumn turn into thorny pods housing the seeds, if temperatures allow, or in a conditioned environment, the stramonium is perennial. Cultivation is very easy, both in pots and on the ground. It produces many flowers shaped as a white trumpet. It is also very ornamental even if they last only a few hours before withering. The flowers are followed by thorny nuts containing the seeds. It is one of the ingredients of the ointment to fly that “witches” (forgive the abuse of this word) used for the sabbath, in fact it has hallucinogenic and hypnotic effects.