Datura stramonium (Jimsonweed)

Plant Info
Also known as: Thorn-apple, Devil's Snare, Devil's Trumpet
Genus:Datura
Family:Solanaceae (Potato)
Life cycle:annual
Origin:uncertain
Habitat:part shade, sun; roadsides, waste areas, gardens
Bloom season:July - September
Plant height:1 to 4 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: tubular

[photo of flower] Stalked flowers are single in the leaf axils, branch tips, and forks of branching stems. Flowers are funnel-shaped, 2 to 4 inches long, up to 2 inches across when fully open, white to purple-tinged, sometimes darker purple in the throat, with 5 petal lobes each with a slender tooth at the tip. Inside the tube are 5 stamens and a single style that do not extend beyond the floral tube.

[photo of calyx] The calyx cupping the flower is tubular, cylindric to narrowly egg-shaped, to 2+ inches long with 5 sharply pointed lobes at the tip. Flower stalks are erect to ascending and up to ½ inch long. All parts are hairless or nearly so. Flowers open in the evening and wither by noon.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are alternate, egg-shaped to oblong-elliptic in outline, 3 to 7 inches long, 1½ to 5½ inches wide, on stalks up to 2 inches long. The edges are often somewhat wavy and have large, coarse teeth or a few shallow, pointed lobes. Stems are erect to ascending, round to weakly angled in cross-section, green to purple, and many branched creating a bushy appearance. Leaves, stalks and stems are hairless or nearly so, though may have short hairs when young.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of developing fruit] Fruit is a round to oval capsule 1 to 1¾ inches long, covered in numerous prickles, maturing from green to light yellowish-brown and splitting into 4 equal parts at maturity. Fruits are held erect on straight stalks, the remains of the calyx surrounding the base like a short skirt.

[photo of seed] Inside the capsule are numerous flattened, black, egg to kidney-shaped seeds about 4 mm (1/6 inch) long.

Notes:

Jimsonweed has only been recorded 6 times in Minnesota, all but one of those were in the late 1800s. Its origin is up for debate, possibly Asia or tropical America, but likely Mexico, and it is not very hardy here. We grew it from purchased seed but it did not persist after the first year even though it produced abundant seed. The entire plant is toxic but it has still been cultivated as a medicinal as well as an ornamental plant. The flowers are much like other Datura species, though half or less the size of the other species recorded in Minnesota: Sacred Thorn-apple (Datura wrightii); D. stramonium also has fruit on erect stalks where D. wrightii fruit is nodding.

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More photos

Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in his garden.

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Robin - Rochester
on: 2019-07-17 20:28:58

I am pretty sure I ha e this growing after buying native seeds from a minnesota prairie restoration business. How do I submit a picture for positive identification?

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2019-07-18 11:57:01

Robin, post images on the Minnesota Wildflowers facebook page.

Posted by: Jill - Cottage Grove
on: 2019-08-27 08:43:03

This plant popped up in our garden this year. It caught our attention because of the spiny seed pod. We did get some top soil from the local compost site for the garden earlier this spring.

Posted by: Marina B - Bayport
on: 2019-09-18 09:22:16

Neighbor down the road in Bayport, MN has planted this in their front yard down their sidewalk next to the public sidewalk. Started from seed and grew in pots for the spring then transplanted into the ground early summer. Noticed the spiny seed pods as an indicator of this plants identity.

Posted by: Rick - ROCHESTER
on: 2022-08-03 09:19:28

I got compost from the county compost site to create a pumpkin patch and now jimsonweed has taken over the patch, choking out the pumpkins. It has come back every year for about 3 years and I can't get rid of it.

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2022-08-03 09:33:25

Rick, this is an annual so you'll continue to get plants until the seed bank is depleted. Preventing further seed production is your best bet.

Posted by: linda - st cloud
on: 2022-08-22 18:26:11

I just saw this at the st cloud city compost site. there are several shrubs with glossy leaves, pale purple flowers and lighter green spiny pods. they are growing in some of the scrap soil piles along the west side of the site. i was hoping to go back and ask if i could dig one up and bring it home. it was so pretty and unusual i came home and started trying to identify it.

Posted by: Kim - Houston county
on: 2022-09-13 18:36:14

We have some of this on our land in soil we disturbed. We also had a plant last year but it didn't come back. Makes me think this is an annual but the seeds can be buried for years and come back when the ground is disturbed .

Posted by: Dee - Plymouth
on: 2022-09-22 11:59:19

Eat the flowers - it will cause hallucinations but be careful as you can become violently and end up in the hospital. Keep pets away

Posted by: Mike Pfeninger - St. Cloud VA Hospital
on: 2023-07-17 14:47:02

It is growing here wild on a construction site. Based on the posted information Jimsonweed is not an invasive species?

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2023-07-17 16:40:28

Mike, I would consider it weedy more than invasive.

Posted by: patricia twist - Douglas County
on: 2023-07-17 17:59:45

We have this growing in a planter on our property. Just one large plant, but am sure it is Jimsonweed. I read that it is poisonous? My husband filled the planter with soil from his slough. Near Brandon, Minnesota. Please advise.

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2023-07-17 19:02:11

Patricia, as mentioned in the Notes above, the entire plant is toxic. Pull it if you don't want it in your planter.

Posted by: Kristin graeber - Lester prairie
on: 2023-08-24 22:24:43

Plant is growing in corner by driveway just popped up this spring (our first spring at this house) didn't know at first what it was so let it go. Well now it is about 3-4 ft tall and not kidding six feet wide! 27 blooms going at the moment and the plant staulk even split down the middle from weight and it still lives. I did do a little tic for it.

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