by Julie Conner, Somervell County Master Gardener
Moonflower or Datura or jimson weed or thorn apple by any name is a large leafy perennial which develops a large trumpet-shaped white flower after hours. A nocturnal bloomer, it is perfect for a Moonlit garden. The blooms glow all night in the moonlight and as the sun rises fold their blossom and, if germinated, develop their thorny seed pod.
Their seeds can be sown directly in the soil and grow easily and quickly. They prefer a sunny location with good drainage. They tolerate poor soil and bloom summer through fall.
As lovely as they are, there is a sinister side to Datura. Many species are poisonous and have a long history as a potion or witches brew. But like the caster bean, poinsettia and Oleander, do not ingest. Enjoy their night time beauty and fragrance.