Datura metel, commonly called angel’s trumpet or thornapple, is a shrubby, sprawling perennial in the potato family that bears large, trumpet shaped flowers that come in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, lilac and dark purple. The seeds for this listing are those of the cultivar Datura metel ‘Fastuosa’, which has double, purple flowers. Datura metel is native to China. It is grown as an annual in temperate regions and as a perennial in tropical and subtropical regions. It grows 3-4’ tall and spreads to as much as 4’ wide. Ovate, wavy-toothed, dark green leaves (to 8” long). The flowers are large and trumpet-shaped (to 7” long and 4” wide at the mouth) with a sweetly overpowering fragrance. From an unusual cigar-shaped flower bud, each flower will unravel in the evening to reveal a fragrant trumpet-shaped bloom that only lasts until noon the following day. Flowers will typically bloom intermittently from mid-summer to frost. Flowers are followed by thorny, spherical fruit. Datura is similar to Brugmansia, except the trumpets of the latter are larger, last for several days and droop downward. Winter hardy to USDA Zone 8-11. It is grown as an annual in zones 5-7 and as a shrub in zones 8-11. In the ground, plants do best in rich, humusy, well-drained loams in full sun with regular moisture. Plants tend to sprawl, and are best spaced about 3’ apart unless staking or other support will be used.
1. Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat.
2. Soak the seed in water for several hours.
3. The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
4. Put the seeds on the soil.
5. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
6. Water the seeds.
7. Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
8. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.