Datura ‘Black Currant Swirl’

I planted D. metel ‘Black Currant Swirl’ earlier this summer hoping that it would become a tall and showy feature in the middle of my late summer garden. One of its nicest features are its flowers – pretty bell or trumpet shaped flowers in super-swirly shades of purple and white. The flowers are up-facing, rather than pendulous like the more commonly known ‘Angel’s Trumpet,’ a cousin in the closely related brugmansia family.

So, what’s not to like about Datura?

Well, for one thing, the entire plant is poisonous – leaves, flowers, seeds and all. For another, this plant does not have a pleasant aroma. The tag said something about gardeners praising it for its “night-blooming beauty and fragrance”. I guess I’m not hanging out in the garden late enough in the evening to catch a whiff of its beauty or its purportedly sweet fragrance because, to me, it has the aroma of dirty sweat socks. (Trust me, I’m a mom and an expert at sniffing down that odor.)

This plant sprouts walnut-sized green balls with knobby purple spikes, each fruit containing hundreds of seeds. Very poisonous seeds, so I’ve read. I have also read that it’s wise to remove the seed pods before maturity because they tend to self-seed and can become invasive…and the seeds can be viable for years to come.

Oh, great! Just what I need – another “invasive” in my garden. Hold on a sec while I don a pair of gloves and head outside armed with my trusty snippers.

There! I’m back. The surgery has been performed.

As you’ve probably guessed, I’m not sure I like this plant as a whole. I had such great expectations it would become a show-stopping centerpiece in my front yard’s most visible flowerbed.

Our two person jury is at an impasse. My husband really likes it. He thinks its cool and wants us to keep it. Me? Well, maybe it’ll grow on me, but I think it’s just ‘kinda meh’ and taking up valuable garden real estate . I’m thinking I’d be happier with another hibiscus strutting its late summer stuff in that spot.

‘Tie Dye’ Hibiscus (rose mallow) growing by the front door

Any thoughts or suggestions from my fellow gardeners?

Sorry, only five photos this week, but that’s it for my Six on Saturday. If you are a gardener (or just like to play in the dirt), you should really pop on over to our Six on Saturday host Jon’s blog “The Propagator”. You’ll find all sorts of gardens to tour with just a click, lots of inspiration, and collective wisdom from gardeners around the world – each sharing six things from their garden on Saturdays (unless they’re perpetually late bloggers like me).

Author: barefootlilylady

I love sharing about my barefoot gardening adventures, hence my blogger name. As I write, some of my other passions might spill out -- like fun with grandkids, baking and sewing endeavors, what I'm studying in Scripture, and the like. My readers will notice that one of the primary things I write about is Alzheimer's. May what I write be an encouragement to anyone who is a caregiver for someone they love with memory loss.

5 thoughts on “Datura ‘Black Currant Swirl’”

  1. I am with you on this issue! Whereas I do think it is gorgeous when it is in bloom, the negative issues are overpowering. I would be scared to have such a poisonous plant in my garden. And who doesn’t love a beautiful 🌺 hibiscus? Any color of hibiscus is bound to be a show-stopper! 💜💝💖❤️🌺💚💙💕🎶🐞

    On Tue, Aug 31, 2021 at 10:24 AM Barefoot Lily Lady wrote:

    > barefootlilylady posted: ” I planted D. metel ‘Black Currant Swirl’ > earlier this summer hoping that it would become a tall and showy feature in > the middle of my late summer garden. One of its nicest features are its > flowers – pretty bell or trumpet shaped flowers in super-swirly s” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pam. I truly value your opinion. Right now I’m leaning toward replacing it with a hibiscus. Since hibiscus is late in sprouting and flowering, it would give other sun-loving bulbs and perennials planted nearby (like tulips, peony and daylilies) time to do their thing before putting on its own show (at least that’s how I figure the bloom succession would work). Another thought I had was to put a tree-form hydrangea in that spot. Do you have a favorite that you would suggest for my full-sun spot in Zone 5a?

      Liked by 1 person

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