“Plants Vs Zombification”

by ESP on August 29, 2013 · 6 comments


“Once upon a time a long, long time ago, a boy called A’neglakya and his sister A’neglakyatsi-tsa lived deep within the Earth. As often as they could they came up to the surface to go on long walks, exploring the land, watching and listening carefully to all and everything they encountered on their journeys. Upon their return they told their mother about everything they had seen. However, one day the twin-sons of the Sun-god grew suspicious of them and they wondered what they should do about the inquisitive pair. Soon after, A’neglakya and his sister were once again on one of their walkabouts, when they came upon the sons of the Sun-god. Casually the twins inquired about their well-being: “We are very happy” was the reply, and A’neglakya told the twins how he and his sister could make people fall asleep and have visionary dreams or let them ‘see’ the whereabouts of lost objects.


Upon hearing this the twins decided that the two definitely knew too much and that they should put an end to A’neglakya’s and A’neglakyatsi-tsa’s doings. That day the sons of the Sun-god let the brother and sister disappear into the Earth forever. But lo and behold, two beautiful flowers emerged from the ground in just the same spot where the two had vanished. They were the same flowers that the brother and sister had laid on the heads of the people to give them visions. In their memory the Gods called the flower A’neglakya and their children spread far across the Earth – bringing visions to many people”.

Zuni legend about the origin of Datura

street-planterImages of Datura stramonium as it grows in street planters in Antofagasta, Chile, by Etnojardines as contributed to the Creative Commons on Flickr.com.

Spread far across the earth it has, but considering datura was once used to zombify Caribbean delinquents, criminals and rebellious slaves – it would not be my first deliberate choice for a public street planter.

shaun of the dead

In the Caribbean the plant is fondly known as the Zombie-cucumber or Herb of the Sorcerers.


A hearty brew of datura and a few other dangerous plants (plus some puffer-fish poison for good measure) were mixed into a rather sinister cocktail and administered to the criminal who would then fall into a pseudo-coma…wait, things get much worse.


The criminal was then placed into a coffin modified with an air-tube, buried, and a funeral ceremony conducted.

Three days later the coffin was exhumed…more datura powder was administered to the poor chap, as well as a splash of intense brainwashing followed by a daily regimen of yes, you guessed it…more datura powder.


This hypnotic state was then maintained until the person lost all sense of self and identity and literally became, well a…



Now that is a rough few days.


Here is my stand struggling in the late afternoon sun, they transform into something magical in the dark hours.


Moving Less disturbingly (but naturally dragging one foot) along:


This week my wife found our first Patch walking stick on the side of our house,


it was much smaller and lighter in color than the monster I found last year at a client’s house.

Talking of monsters…



I was recently called in to exorcise this grapevine that had consumed a front porch, all the adjacent trees and shrubs in the vicinity, and was now threatening people asleep in their beds.


It was a malicious scratching and clawing entity that fought me all the way, but my hook-saw combined with some quiet cursing prevailed…


…”This house is clean”.


Stay Tuned for:

“Vomit on my Gromit


All material © 2013 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.



Happy 6th B/B


If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
1 gail August 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Very strange! You never disappoint.
Love the picture of the birthday boy and his cupcakes. :)

2 ESP August 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Very strange post indeed Gail.
Not cupcakes…a giant “Hot Head” Skylander!

3 TexasDeb August 31, 2013 at 7:32 am

Well done with the grape vine, sir. Those are some potentially malevolent creepers.

I realize Datura has a dark history but honestly I’m totally smitten with the blooms. I typically can only get one large one going at a time but oh! Once it kicks into floral gear I spend a lot of happy time sitting and gazing at its moonlike blossoms. Hmmm. Are we sure you have to ingest powder to be bewitched?

I’m envious of your patch of datura – do you fuss over them at all or totally ignore them? When they start to fade do you cut them back at all? I’m wondering now if my attempts to get a bunch of them in one place are failing because I’m treating them too preciously and all they want is to be left alone?

4 ESP August 31, 2013 at 8:30 am

Thanks TD and yes that grape vine was a beast, I wanted to take it out completely but it was on the neighbors side and they wanted to keep it. We will not be seeing the end of this vine I fear.

Datura is a beautiful plant, I keep going out at night with my camera in the hope to capture some sphinx moths, but nothing yet. This patch started out as a single plant and has now multiplied to about three or four. Most of the time I totally ignore them and when they start to brown and look bad I trim them back to the green growth…this can be a severe trimming but the plant(s) have always returned.

I have also planted the brown seeds in different places in the Patch, but it appears that it is very selective about where it grows, no success to date. This year I plan on potting the seeds then transplanting to see if this will work.

5 Max P. August 31, 2013 at 10:16 am

Those walking stick are devious buggers. And ugly too. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/calif/msg0500213422784.html

6 ESP August 31, 2013 at 11:50 am

Yikes Max P.
Interesting read and I had no idea they could be present in plague proportions. I may have to go out with my flashlight tonight and see how many I have lurking around.

Previous post:

Next post: