This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Shrubs or coarse fetid herbs with ovate angular lobed leaves and large showy solitary flowers. Calyx 5-lobed, separating transversely, the lower part persistent with the fruit. Corolla funnel- or salver-shaped, with a plaited 5- to 10-toothed limb. Capsule 4-celled, 4-valved, smooth or prickly; seeds large and flat. The few species are widely dispersed in warm and tropical regions, and one, D. Stramonium (Thorn-Apple), is occasionally found in waste places in this country as a waif of cultivation. This has large white flowers, but there is a variety with violet flowers called Tatula. The generic name is an alteration of the Arabic Tatorah.
Fig. 180. Datura ceratocaula.
D. Mitel is an erect slightly-pubescent species with fragrant white flowers and large spiny capsules. D. fastuosa has purplish stems and very long tubular funnel-shaped flowers, yellowish within, and tinged with violet externally. D. humilis has double flowers, and is considered to be a dwarf variety of the last. D. meteloides, similar to Mitel, with large longer-tubed flowers of a bluish violet.