Last week I showed some friends a picture of a spiny seed pod I wanted to plant. Unsure of its plant origins, I asked if it was an Angel Trumpet Vine, since I knew I had that plant at the back of the garden bed where I found the pod. It had always been left alone to seed itself, and has done so for about six years. I never made the foray under the peach branches to the back of the bed to collect the pods for planting, until now.
Datura Meteloides is an evening bloomer, with a sweet fragrance and a huge, angelic trumpet-like flower. It was strategically placed near the fence in a eight-foot-wide bed, under a peach tree. That way it would not detract from the flowers in the daytime, but be visible at dusk as I came in from the vegetable garden. Walking past its fragrant bloom was very calming after a hard day’s work, or gathering vegetables for dinner. It truly seemed like an angel trumpeting the end of a productive day, or heralding the peace of the evening’s welcome rest.
What I found out from my query was shocking. “Angel Trumpets don’t re-seed in Tennessee. What you have there is a Devil Trumpet.” Those were the exact words of my Master Gardener friend. What? A devil in my garden? I didn’t need the devil in my yard, I had bermuda grass. That evil stuff seems like it was spawned by Satan himself in the Bermuda Triangle.
But, no, my friend proceeded to send links that backed up her knowledge of plants, and it looks like my angel is really a devil. All this time I had been genuinely fooled. I knew that I had Angel Trumpets. It turns out that I was completely mistaken, the Datura seed pod I have is a Devil!
Here is one description taken from a link my friend sent: “Datura is often nicknamed Devil’s Trumpets and gets confused with Brugmansia which has the nickname Angel’s Trumpet. It is easy to remember: Devils are down below tooting their trumpets upwards while Angels are up above playing their trumpets downwards” (www.sampleseeds.com).
So there. I have been harboring a Devil and honoring it as an Angel.
“No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14 NASB). Datura is a beautiful plant no matter what the name. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
We must be on our guard about what we think we know. “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). What other so-called facts do we believe without proving their truth? My garden did not suffer any harm from my misconception. It was nevertheless a jolt to reality that if I can mistake a Devil for an Angel in my flower beds, what is lurking in my life under a mistaken identity?
Being a busybody can be euphemized and even mistaken for “concern.” Conversely, insensitivity can be dressed up as “minding my own business.” “Humor” can be a disguise for hurtful sarcasm, or snobbery. The list goes on.
Second Corinthians 13:5 says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” Proverbs 14:12 warns us against following what “seems right.”
Don’t let the Devil take root in your life. His works can be pretty deceptive to the untrained eye! But I will share my Devil Trumpets with you. They’re safe.