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Are datura safe to grow around cats?
Q: I bought some seeds which are labeled patio datura/belle blanche. I'm not sure which datura they are but the package says poisonous, and the germination time 3-5 weeks matches the description for datura meteloides. It's a white flower with predicted dimensions which also match meteloides. Someone at ethnobotany thinks they are datura inoxia and aren't poisonous. I thought they were jimson weed which another site said was meteloides. But from the description of d. stratimonim on another site they don't appear to be jimson weed. Do you know which they are? Also are they safe
to grow? I have cats and I'm worried they may eat them.

A: Datura belle blanche, or Datura metel (belle blanche) is a variety of Datura metel. This nursery has a photo and description.

I've heard both Datura stramonium and Datura inoxia referred to as jimson weed. I wouldn't be surprised if the term was used for Datura metel as well. They are all closely related and very similar looking species...and all can have white flowers.

For more specific identification info...see this chart (

All varieties of Datura are poisonous in large enough quantities. They contain anticholinergenic deleriants (atropine, scopolamine) which cause incoherent speech, disorientation, delusions, an hallucinations. Datura species have been used by various traditional cultures throughout the world.

Datura are frequently listed among plants poisonous to cats. However, I haven't heard of cats having any particular attraction to them. If your cats are likely to chew on houseplants I would definitely avoid growing Datura. One option might be to grow Brugmansia which is a tree Datura. The leaves of this plant are several feet above ground and unlikely to be in reach of your cats.

For more information see our Datura Vaults and Brugmansia Vaults.



Asked By : lotuslily
Answered By : fire
Published Date : 6 / 12 / 1999
Last Edited Date : 3 / 8 / 2007
Question ID : 14

Categories: [ Cultivation ] [ Datura ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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