Jimson-Weed





The jimson-weed is very common in Kentucky. I have not seen so much of

it in the east and north, but it appears to grow pretty nearly over the

whole United States. It is from one to five feet in height, and an

ill-smelling weed, though first cousin to the beautiful, cultivated

datura, which is a highly prized garden plant. The stem is smooth,

green, stout, and branching. The flower is large, sometimes four inches

long, and trumpet-shaped. There are several varieties of this weed; on

some the flower is white, on others the five, flaring, sharp-pointed

lobes are stained with lavender and magenta. The calyx is long,

close-fitting, and light green. The leaves are rather large; they are

angularly oval in shape and are coarsely notched. The fruit is a

prickly, egg-shaped capsule which contains the seeds. It is these seeds

which are sometimes eaten with serious results, and children have been

poisoned by putting the flowers in their mouths.



Emetics should immediately be administered to throw the poison off the

stomach, then hot, strong coffee should be given. Sometimes artificial

respiration must be resorted to. In all cases of poisoning a physician

should be called if possible.



The habit of chewing leaves and stems without knowing what they are

should be suppressed when on the trail. It is something like going

through a drug store and sampling the jars of drugs as you pass, and the

danger of poisoning is almost as great.





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