unfurling datura

Only about five minutes elapsed between the first and second of these photos of the unfurling buds of sacred datura, Datura wrightii. I had no idea how quickly these things opened in the fading evening light as they get ready for their nighttime pollinators. Stand too close to these massive opening buds and you could almost get hurt!

There are times I’m sorry you can’t convey hover the internet how something smells. This is one of them. These massive eight to nine inch flowers can pump out so much scent every moth in the neighborhood comes for a visit. I usually think humans and insects don’t have an awful lot in common. But we definitely share an attraction to this flower’s amazing scent.

That’ll be the next photo project: setting up the tripod again in the dark, waiting for the moths, as I get intoxicated on the scent of the flowers…

11 thoughts on “unfurling datura”

  1. Then I must watch mine very closely. At least I’m hoping it will bloom as this is the first yr. in the ground. It was only a stick with a little green at the top.

  2. James, Those are fantastic photos. I, too, wish you could send scent through the internet. I can almost smell that fabulous flower, but not quite. -Jean

  3. aloha james,

    i’m a fan of these daturas also, but the brugmansias are my absolute favorites, i enjoy the scents….aaaaah!

    thanks for sharing

  4. Well, I am both a brugmansia and datura nut, and I thrill to their unfolding, too. I’m also interested to see your D. wrightii, one of my goals is to collect all the species daturas – if I (or anyone) can figure out for sure which is which.

  5. Thanks, everyone! Although I like a lot of plants with delicate, tiny little flowers, I really have a weakness for this plant, which is about as unsubtle as you can get!

  6. What a great progression…and so quick! I have datura seeds that I somehow failed to get planted earlier this spring, but I’ll tuck them into pots this weekend and see if I can’t catch up.

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