Of Daturas, Brugmansias and FloripondiosSaturday, September 30, 2006
There is much confusion on these two closely related plants, the Datura and the Brugmansia. It's simpler to think about it in Spanish. In February, 2000 I was in Mario Vargas Llosa's garden in Barranco, a neighbourhood of Lima, Peru. I had never seen this little tree in my life (right, the floripondio in Vargas Llosa's garden). I asked Vargas Llosa for its name. "Es un floripondio," he told me. The plant is from the tomato family and it is supposed to be either deadly or halucenogenic, or both. That a young man died in the BC interior after ingesting (he wandered quite confused for a while)a native BC datura might confirm that indeed it is deadly.
A various times of the day and particularly during warm and humid nights the several floripondios that grew in our Morelia hotel last August spread the sweetest perfume imaginable. I photographed Rebecca by one which was a double form in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico.