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Genus of the Week

Week of May 4-10

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.

This week's genus:


Datura


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Asteridae
Order: Polemoniales
Family: Solanaceae: The Potato (or Nightshade) Family
Tribe: Datureae
Number of Species: 10
Root: Hindi: dhatu + ra

The genus Datura is one of the several deadly members of the Solanaceae family. This is due to the presence of the alkaloid atropine ("daturia") in the plants' tissues. In several parts of the United States and Canada, it is illegal to grow Datura. Species are often easily identified by their large, elegant trumpet-shaped flowers.

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Datura species:


References:

  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  2. Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.

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