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July issue of The Irish Garden








Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal

Last Post 17 hours ago

Datura Woes

22 July 2009 00:34:58
looking up the flower 'skirt'

looking up the flower 'skirt'

I have a weird problem with my Datura and I wonder if anyone has come across it before? Rita D?

My Datura is flowering. It is of the double flowered type. That is to say, the flower is supposed to be double-decked with an inner bell shape and an outer one. The first flower opened and when I looked up inside it I could see the ruffles of the inner bell. However, the inner bell never came down so you could only see it by looking up the 'skirts' of the flower. The flower turned brown from the inside out and was ugly within a few days of opening.

It's almost like the inner flower is stuck and rotting as it can't come down. I tried giving it a little tug but it didn't want to come down and the whole flower came off.

There are lots more flowers coming on the plant and I was really hoping not to suffer from the same problem... Any help or is this one for Gerry?


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rita d rita d 22 July 2009 07:33:55

Cant help Rachel Sorry, Had similar problem with Strelitzia earlier in the year. First flower opened but seemed to have another inside (born pregnant!!) second one did not open and turned brown. I did like you and gave it a tug. No luck. After I cut off the spent flower I did what was recommended and put plant out side for Summer (or what awas supposed to be Summer) and it has made no new growth whatever, in fact think it is slowly dying. Wonder if that is supposed to happen. Flower once then die!! Can you help me?. Hate to lose this plant as it took years to reach flowering. I gave up on Angels trumpets a few years ago as it was too high maintainance. Dont mean I got rid. can never do that to a living plant. Just stopped caring for it and did not replace it when it died. think this is one for Jerry!!


Rachel Rachel 22 July 2009 10:37:51

Thanks for replying so quickly, Rita. Boy do you get around the site. I raised this as a question for Gerry last night so will let you know what he says.


Rachel Rachel 22 July 2009 10:47:02

Poor non-favourites. What a slow death. Would Sally not have helped you out by taking them?


rita d rita d 23 July 2009 07:20:01

did not know Sally at the time I had the Brugmansia ( by the way are Brugmansia and Datura the same plant? had both at one time and while the one labelled Datura held its flowers facing upwards the Brugmansia were like yours hanging like a bell.) Its a bit confusing. Sally also is only now in the process of having a lean-to greenhouse erected at her garden and Angel's trumpet needs protection in Winter


Rachel Rachel 23 July 2009 10:36:57

I had a look in my gardening encyclopaedias but failed to find a definition of the difference between the two. Both from the Solanacaea family, both from South America. Datura seems to be more an annual (but that's not a proper difference). In Wikipedia I found this "Brugmansia differs from Datura in being perennial and woody (Datura species are herbaceous), and in having pendulous (not erect) flowers". So it looks like you were right about the hanging bells! That means i have a Brugmansia, not a Datura.


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