Though frost has recently taken away its flowers, one plant that grows like a weed around the perimeter the casita is Datura wrightii, Sacred Datura, from the Hindu word dhat, which means "the eternal essence of God," Datura is considered one of the most mysterious and "frighteningly powerful" sacred plants in the world.
Knowledge of this tropane-containing plant's intoxicating (and extremely poisonous) properties dates back to prehistory and accounts of its use can be found in the earliest Chinese texts...
In the fifth century B.C. in China, where Datura was considered a sacred plant, legend has it that when Buddha preached, dew or raindrops fell from heaven on the plant (Schultes & Hofmann 1979).As well as in Sanskrit texts like the Vamana Purama, where Datura is described as "growing from the heart of Mahesvara" (Shiva, the Indian god of transformation). The plant is traditionally associated with worship of this god, and its fruits and flowers placed on altars during ceremonies.
Datura is also known to Native Americans with the name Toloache from the Aztec toloatizn, "to incline the head." Historically used by shamen, medicine men and elders to induce ritualistic hallucinations during ceremonies and rights of passage, it is still used widely for such in the Carribean where it's called "herbe aux sorciers" (herb of the sorcerers).
Among the Zuni people the powdered root is given as an anesthetic and a narcotic for surgery and a poultice of root and flower meal applied to wounds to promote healing. However the plant is extremely toxic and potentially lethal, especially if consumed in quantities unmetered by someone not versed in their safe administration. So admire Datura from a safe distance (sit with it, photograph it, etc) unless you are working with a traditional medicine person that you know and trust.
As a plant essence, Datura is said to provide the following benefits:
• courage to let go of the familiar and secure;
• dissolving your illusions or cherished beliefs about reality;
• eases the confusion and paradox often experienced during periods of transformation and perceptual shifts;
• encourages deep inner visionary states and acceptance of them as a natural part of being;
• helps open the "doors of perception" to a new, expanded experience of reality;
• helps you see beyond your present view of reality to a much more expanded state;
often indicated when the form or ideals of a relationship need re-examination or change