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Angels Trumpet (deadly flower )

18 years ago

excerpt from a newspaper...

Flower power can be deadly

Derrik Chidley heard good and bad stories about getting high from an angels' trumpet flower.

But he decided to test the effects on his own.

The 18-year-old was alone on a Friday night at his uncle's home. He said he became curious.

"I went to my neighbor's yard and picked four flowers that I knew were angels' trumpets," Chidley said. "I put on a movie, put the flowers in a pot and boiled them so I could make tea from it."

The angels' trumpet flower is often found in home gardens and is known for its distinct fragrance.

Experts said all parts of the plant are poisonous.

"I remember feeling hot so I took off my jacket and then it felt like I was floating and then I started gagging," Chidley said. "I couldn't breathe, like when you get the wind knocked out of you."

Chidley said he tried repeatedly to stand up but was unable to maintain his balance and kept falling over.

"I felt like I was going to die, like I was suffocating. I kept freaking out but I thought it was just the high so I tried to make myself relax," he said.

Chidley drank the tea around 11 p.m. His cousin found him passed out in the bathroom a few hours later.

"They thought he was overdosing on LSD because of the way he was reacting," Chidley's mother, said.

Other teens who were admitted for ingesting angels' trumpets. Many of them didn't survive.

Dr. Martin Stoner, a professor of botany at Cal Poly Pomona, said that people should think twice before experimenting with plants and flowers.

"The trouble is most people are ignorant about plants and their chemistry. Experimentation is risky business," said Stoner, who specializes in poisonous plants. "The hallucinations caused from angels' trumpet are there, but they come at a very painful experience."

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