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Angel's Trumpet
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Angel's Trumpet
aturalized elliptic Photo: Tabish
Common name: Angel's trumpet • Hindi: Dhatura धतूरा • Manipuri: ꯁꯒꯣꯜ ꯍꯤꯗꯥꯛ সগোল হিদাক Sagol hidak • Malayalam: Ummata • Tamil: மாதுளம் Madulam • Mizo: Tawtaw-rawtpar
Botanical name: Brugmansia suaveolens   Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)
Synonyms: Datura suaveolens

There are several varieties of Datura, some of which become small trees and have very large trumpet-shaped flowers that hang down like bells. This particular species is native to tropical America, now naturalized in most parts of the world. A large shrub with large leaves, very large, pendulous, funnel-shaped white flowers of up to 30cm long. Sweet-scented at night. In India, it is often heard of in the sanskrit scriptures as being one of the plants of choice of the travelling sadhus, particularly worshippers of Lord Shiva, the god of dissolution. With the proper preparation it is said to have hallucinogenic properties, however novices beware, for a wrongly prepared dose can be both toxic and fatal. Commonly, Datura species are grown for their attractive flowers. However, all parts of the plant are poisonous. Angel's Trumpet is widely cultivated and naturalized in India. It can be seen growing wild in the Himalayas, up to altitudes of 1300-1700 m.

Identification credit: Kripal K. Photographed in Shillong, Meghalaya & Chikmagalur, Karnataka

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