| (Jimson weed; Thornapple; Jamestown weed)
A cousin of tomatoes, chiles, and potatoes with sharply toothed deep green leaves spreading out from the center of the plant and giving out an unpleasant smell. Pale, lavender-tinted whorled white flowers somewhat like morning glory form above the leaves from June to August, followed by coarse, spiny fruit that eventually splits to release the seeds. Stramonium has a long and fascinating history in North America, including ceremonial use by Native Americans, and disastrous encounters by early colonial settlers. All parts of the plant contain high levels of tropane alkaloids, which can cause delirium, uncontrolled rise in body temperature, elevated heart rate, brain damage and death. Because of the risk of toxicity, stramonium is prohibited for sale in Canada. However it is a valuable medicinal. Externally applying a cloth soaked in an infusion made from the leaves is thought to be helpful to relieve pain in skin ulcers. Stramonium can be sown directly in the garden, or started indoors. It prefers rich, light soil and full sun. A potent plant with many possibilities to professional researchers.