The botanical name of Datura is Datura innoxia and belongs to the family Solanaceae.
The other common names are Horn of Plenty, Downy Thorn Apple, Safed Dhatura (Hindi).
Datura is a herbaceous, woody, perennial shrub with erect flowers and grows wild in South India. They grow to a height of 3 feet.
The leaves are alternate with a toothed margin.
The leaves can be 20 cm long and 18 cm wide. The leaves are offered to Lord Ganesha during 21 Patra (leaves) Pooja. ” Om Harasoonave Namaha, Duttura Patram Samarpayami” is chanted while offering this leaf to the Lord.
The flowers are white or yellow, pink and pale purple and are erect. The trumpet shaped flowers are 8 inches long and 6 inches across.
The flowers are offered to Lord Ganesha during 21 Pushpa (flowers) Pooja. ” Om Indra Sripradaya Namaha, Duttura pushpam Samarpayami” is chanted while offering this leaf to the Lord.
The fruit is a spiny oval capsule of 4–10 cm long and 2–6 cm broad, splitting open when ripe to release the numerous seeds.
Ummathat, the lively dance of Kodagu, is set to the beat of cymbals which resemble the exuberant Ummat (Datura) flower from which the dance gets its name. Ummat (Datura) flowers and seeds are both medicinal and poisonous depending on the parts used and the quantity administered.