Datura stramonium L. - Jimson Weed

Datura stramonium plant

Family - Solanaceae

Stems - No info. yet.

Datura stramonium stem

Leaves - No info. yet.

Datura stramonium leaves

Inflorescence - No info. yet.

Flowers - No info. yet.

Datura stramonium calyxCalyx.

Datura stramonium flower

Datura stramonium flower

Datura stramonium stamensStamens and style.

Datura stramonium fruitFruit.

Flowering - May - October.

Habitat - Pastures, barnyards, fields, waste ground, cultivated areas, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to tropical America.

Other info. - This toxic species can be found scattered throughout most of Missouri. It is easily identified by its glabrous, purple stems, toothed leaves, and spiked fruits.
Datura stramonium is packed with tropane alkaloids. These alkaloids are autonomic nervous system blocking agents. Apparently, the level of alkaloids in individual plants varies from day to day depending on environmental conditions and stages of plant development. This can lead to problems for people who use the plant as a narcotic as higher levels of these alkaloids can cause death instead of the intended "trip."
To learn more about these alkaloids and the toxicity of Datura check out "Medical Botany: PLants Affecting Man's Health" by Lewis & Lewis.

Photographs taken along Logan Creek, Ellington, MO., 8-1-04, and off Missouri Bottom Rd, St. Louis, MO., 8-7-05.


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