Parents warned of jimson weed poisoning after local students are hospitalized

Earlier today, Fayetteville school officials began phoning information to parents of students in grades 6-12 warning of the dangers of jimson weed after five students ingested the poisonous plant during the school day yesterday.

Three students were hospitalized and kept overnight, two of which were in intensive care, said Public Information Officer Alan Wilbourn. “Fortunately, they are improving today,” he added.

The plant, which is usually in bloom in early November, is found along roadsides and fields and is sometimes consumed by teenagers seeking a hallucinogenic high.

According to information found on the National Institutes of Health website, poisoning occurs when someone sucks the juice or eats the seeds from this plant. Other names for the plant include Angel’s Trumpet, Devil’s Weed, Thorn Apple, Jamestown Weed, Stinkweed and Moonflower. Symptoms include blurred vision, dilated pupils, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, fever, coma and in some cases, death.

From the release:

Please talk with your student about this plant and the very real dangers it presents. More information on jimson weed is available online. Teachers and staff members at our schools will be extra vigilant during the next few days to make certain our schools are safe places for students.

[Jimson weed photo by oschene via Flickr and Creative Commons 2.0.]