Because Datura has played an important cultural role in North America, reinterpretation of relationships and interactions between humans and Datura is necessary in light of recent taxonomic studies. Phenetic and phylogenetic analyses of morphological and molecular data established species limits and relationships. Multivariate analyses of taxonomic, geographic, and climatic data defined distribution patterns. Derived diagnostic features and quantitative data were applied to archaeological reports, historical documents, literature and specimens in order to update the taxonomic determination.
MegaMexico is the center of origin and diversification of Datura with 13 species. Various species are ornamentals, have medicinal applications, are valued as entheogens by Native Americas, and cause poisonings. Geographic patterns are explained by altitude, precipitation, and temperature. Migration of Mesoamerican agricultural migration and of expansion of transportation networks account for its geographic expansion. The ornamental, therapeutic, and toxic properties of Datura have been appreciated in MegaMexico since preHispanic times and are exploited by the modern world.