Big Morongo Valley Preserve
The surprise of so many dry desert valleys is to be found at its very bottom, where the occasional rain runs. Here in Morongo Valley's bottom is a nature sanctuary worthy of a visit. Solid boardwalks encircle the whole swamp, woodlands and grasslands. It's like a small chunk of Louisiana transplanted.
But this swamp sprouts the famous and deadly Sacred Datura, also called Jimsonweed, toxic in all its parts--leaf, flower, and spiny fruit. To touch it and then touch your eye can induce temporary blindness. Some seeking a high will down it anyway and hallucinate. It got the name Jimsonweed, a corruption of Jamestown Weed, because in 1676, colonists used the weed to poison British soldiers during Bacon's rebellion.