Datura metel grows in the wild in all the warmer parts of the world, and is cultivated worldwide for its chemical and ornamental properties. It was first described by Linnaeus in 1753, but no botanically correct illustrations or descriptions were made until after the New World was settled. It is not possible to be sure about its original home.
The plant is an annual herb growing up to 3 ft. high. It is slightly furry, with dark violet shoots and oval to broad oval leaves that are often dark violet as well. The pleasantly-scented 6-8 in. flowers are immensely varied, and can be single or double. Colors range from white to cream, yellow, red, and violet. The seed capsule is covered with numerous conical humps and a few spines.. It is similar to D. inoxia, but D. metel has almost glabrous leaves and fruits that are knobby, not spiny. D. inoxia is pilose all over and has a spiny fruit.
A cultivar of D. metel with a polished-looking ebony-black stem exists as a garden plant. Its flowers normally have a double or triple corolla, each corolla having a deep purple exterior and white or off-white interior. The plant is already reported to have become naturalised in Israel (see illustration). The black cultivar might become a common roadside dweller, like its white-flowered ancestor.
It is known under serveral cultivar names as; 'Black', 'Blackcurrant Swirl', 'Cornucopaea', 'Double Blackcurrant Swirl', 'Double Purple', 'Purple Hindu'. It has also received many scientific names which should not be used for a cultivar:
Creating Awareness about Indian Flora & Fauna:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jmgarg1
For learning about our trees & plants, please visit/ join Google e-group (Indiantreepix) http://groups.google.co.in/group/indiantreepix?hl=en