T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Datura stramonium (Jimsonweed)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Datura
Species: D. stramonium
Binomial name: Datura stramonium
Synonyms: Datura inermis, Datura stramonium var. chalybea, Datura stramonium var. tatula, Datura tatula
Common names: Jimsonweed, Jimson weed, Thornapple, Devil's snare, Datura, Thornapple, Moon flower, Toloache, Devil’s trumpet, Devil’s weed, Jamestown weed, Stinkweed, Locoweed, Pricklyburr, Devil’s cucumber.

Datura stramonium is an anticholinergic plant that contains two main toxic alkaloids, atropine and scopolamine which are toxic if ingested and may be fatal if ingested by humans and other animals.

Datura stramonium it is believed to have originated in the Americas, but is now found around the world. In New Zealand Datura stramonium is an annual weed of gardens, roadsides and other waste or cultivated land. It is a foul-smelling, erect, annual, freely branching herb that forms a bush up to >150 cm tall.
The pinnate venated leaves are very broad and coarsely toothed and are up to 20cm long. The upper surface of the leaves are green with undersides a paler green.
Wide, white, long funnel shaped flowers (>9 cm long) are produced throughout summer. Some plants produce flowers with purple or lilac centres and these are referred to as Datura stramonium var. chalybaea (syn. D. stramonium var. tatula). The flowers first grow upright, and later incline downwards. The flowers open at night, emitting an intense night fragrance, which attract night-flying moths.
The egg-shaped seed capsule is 3–8 cm in diameter and are either covered with spines or are bald. The plants producing the bald capsules are referred to as D. stramonium var. inermis. At maturity the fruit splits into four chambers, each with dozens of small, black seeds. The seeds are dispersed by gravity but are also spread when the fruits spines are caught in the hair of animals and carried to other areas. The seeds have hibernation capabilities, and can last for years in the soil 

This plant is listed on the Regional Pest Management Strategies in some regions.



A new flower opening.


Datura stramonium trumpet like flower  

The distinctive coarsely toothed leaf.

The spiny, egg-shaped fruit



Ripe seed capsule


Seed capsule opened up showing the small black seeds


An empty seed capsule late July