Ontario Weeds: Jimsonweed

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Stems and Roots
  6. Flowers and Fruit
  7. Habitat
  8. Similar Species
  9. Caution
  10. Related Links

Name: Jimsonweed, Datura stramonium L.,

Other Names: stramoine commune, Stinkweed, Thornapple, pomme épineuse, herbe du diable

Family: Nightshade or Potato Family (Solanaceae

General Description: Annual, reproducing only by seed.

Photos and Pictures

Jimsonweed leaves.

Jimsonweed (A - plant beginning to flower; B - portion of stem with spiny seedpods).

Jimsonweed (A - plant beginning to flower; B - portion of stem with spiny seedpods).

Jimsonweed seed.

Jimsonweed

Jimsonweed flower
Jimsonweed. A. Top of flowering plant. B. Seedling. C. Fruit.
Jimsonweed. A. Top of flowering plant. B. Seedling. C. Fruit.

Stems & Roots: Stems stout, erect, 90-200cm (3-6½ft) high, usually much-branched in the upper part, smooth and hairless, larger plants with the main stem often 5cm (2in.) or more in diameter; cotyledons (seed leaves) long-oval, 2-4cm (4/5-1½in.) long, shriveling but persisting on the developing seedling; first true leaves ovate with pointed tips and few or no lobes; later leaves distinctly alternate (1 per node), usually somewhat coarsely and sharply toothed or lobed, 10-20cm (4-8in.) long and long-stalked.

Flowers & Fruit: Flowers and seedpods short-stalked, borne singly in the angles between 2 or more stems and a leaf; calyx tubular or urn-shaped; corolla white or light purple, very long, tubular or trumpet-shaped, 7-10cm (3-4in.) long, the flared end with 5 points; seedpod at first green and fleshy with sharp, soft spines, becoming a large (2-5cm, 4/5-2in. across), dry, hard seedpod covered with very sharp, harsh spines and containing numerous black, flat, round seeds. Flowers from July to autumn.

Habitat: Jimsonweed occurs in the warmer parts of southern Ontario in cultivated fields and around farmyards.

Similar Species: It is distinguished by its tall, stout, branched stem (like small trees), large leaves, large, white or purplish trumpet-shaped flowers, large spiny seedpod and sour repulsive odour.

Caution: The whole plant has a sour repulsive odour and all parts of the plant are poisonous.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 01 June 2000
Last Reviewed: 01 November 2003