Fayetteville school officials are sending information to parents of students in 6-12 warning of the dangers of jimson weed after five students ingested the poisonous plant at school yesterday. Three of them required hospitalization; two were in intensive care. School spokesman Alan T. Wilbourn said all are improving today.
Wilbourn did not give the ages of the students or say which school they attended. He said teachers would be "extra vigilant" to guard against a repeat of the incident.
The phone message going out to parents gives background on the plant.
According to the National Institutes of Health, jimson weed is a poisonous plant that grows throughout the U.S. Jimson weed poisoning occurs when someone sucks the juice or eats the seeds from this plant. You can also be poisoned by drinking tea made from the leaves. Its street names are thornapple, stinkweed and locoweed. It is most often used by young people who are unfamiliar with its reputation and unprepared for its side effects, which include dry mouth, dilated pupils, high temperature, blurred vision, confusion, euphoria, and delirium. In some cases, it can be fatal.