Moon Flower, Thorn Apple
Datura innoxia Mill. is the correct and accepted name of this species of Datura. However, this is an incorrect spelling. When Philip Miller first described this species, he purposely misspelled the Latin word “innoxius” which means unoffensive. Any Datura is offensive and can be lethal. Anyway, this species was first described in Gardener’s Dictionary in 1768. BUT, this is what TROPICOS says about the misspelling:
“Annotation: as “Inoxia”. “in-” is an inseparable particle prefixed to an adjective to reverse the meaning. The adjective here is noxius/a/um so the correct form of the compound is innoxius/a/um. Miller misspelled the epithet as “inoxius” which is correctable under Art. 60.1.”
The NEW Plants of the World Online maintained by Kew (a division of The Royal Botanical Garden, is using the original name, Datura innoxia, as the correct and accepted scientific name.
One day in July of 2012, while I was living at the mansion in Mississippi, there was a plant on my step. It looked like a Datura but I wasn’t 100% sure. I figured my good friend, Walley, had been the stork so I gave him a call. Sure enough, it was him that brought the plant. He said it was a Moon Flower. I looked it up online and found out it was a Datura innoxia. Besides being called a Moon Flower, it also is called Thorn Apple as well as other names. I could go into a good story about this Datura species but I am just going to give you several links below to check out.
Since the first time I did research on this species in 2013, several websites have changed the name from Datura inoxia to Datura innoxia. Some well-known websites and databases, such as the Missouri Botanical Garden (see link below) and the USDA Plant Database are STILL using Datura inoxia. The editor for the Wikipedia page of the species changed the name because it used to say Datura inoxia…
Strange how the Missouri Botanical Garden is using Datura inoxia as the name when Tropicos says Datura innoxia. Tropicos is maintained by the Missouri Botanical Gardens…
Origin: Central America
Zones: USDA zones 9-10
Flowers: Produces white, cream, pink, or lavender flowers from July until frost.
Light: Full sun to part shade. Mine were in part shade and still did well and flowered.
Although considered a herbaceous perennial, here in mid-Missouri they are grown as annuals. Seed dispersed from the seed pods may come up the following spring, otherwise, collect the seed for replanting. Information online also suggests the flowers only last one night, but I am not so sure about that…
If you grow this plant, just remember to be careful because of its toxicity. Wash your hands after touching it and keep children away from it.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.