Jimson Weed, Loco Weed, Devil’s Snare, Devils Trumpet, Jamestown Weed, Stinkweed, Pricklyburr, Devil’s Cucumber, Hell’s Bells, ETC…
Synonyms of Datura stramonium (29) (Updated on 5-11-21): Datura bernhardii Lundstr., Datura bertolonii Parl. ex Guss., Datura cabanesii P.Fourn., Datura capensis Bernh., Datura ferocissima Cabanès & P.Fourn., Datura ferox Nees, Datura hybrida Ten., Datura inermis Juss. ex Jacq., Datura laevis L.f., Datura loricata Sieber ex Bernh., Datura lurida Salisb., Datura microcarpa Godr., Datura muricata Godr., Datura parviflora Salisb., Datura praecox Godr., Datura pseudostramonium Sieber ex Bernh., Datura stramonium var. canescens Wall., Datura stramonium f. inermis (Juss. ex Jacq.) Hupke, Datura stramonium f. tatula (L.) B.Boivin, Datura stramonium var. tatula (L.) Torr., Datura tatula L., Datura wallichii Dunal, Stramonium foetidum Scop., Stramonium globosum Bubani, Stramonium laeve Moench, Stramonium spinosum Lam., Stramonium tatula (L.) Moench, Stramonium vulgare Moench, Stramonium vulgatum Gaertn.
Datura stramonium L. is the correct and accepted name for the Jimson Weed. The genus and species were named and described by Carl Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online lists 14 accepted species in the Datura genus (as of 5-11-21 when I last updated this page). They are members of the plant family Solanaceae Family with 100 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
Datura stramonium has quite an extensive range. The map above from Plants of the World Online show where it is a native species in green and where it has been introduced in purple. I used the POWO map to show other countries the species has been introduced.
The map on the USDA Plants Database shows Datura stramonium present in all but 1 state in the continental United States and most of Canada.
The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A BETTER POSITIVE ID.
Datura stramonium is a wickedly neat plant. It has many common names it may share with other species including Jimson Weed, Loco Weed, Devil’s Snare, Devil’s Trumpet, Thorn Apple, Tolguacha, Jamestown Weed, Stinkweed, Pricklyburr, Devil’s Cucumber, Hell’s Bells, and others. It grows in quite a large area here on the farm on the east pond bank in the front pasture.
I am not going to do a lengthy write-up about this species because there is a lot of information online already. There are many links at the bottom of the page that provide a lot of useful information.
When I moved back to the family farm in west-central Missouri in February 2013, I brought with me seeds of Datura innoxia (Moon Flower) and Datura metel (Purple Datura) from Mississippi. I am not sure how or when the discussion came up about the Jimson Weeds, but I told dad I had seeds to plant of the Moon Flower and Purple Datura which were related. Dad, who was 82 at the time, looked at me like I was nuts. Unfortunately, I decided not to plant the seeds. I hadn’t remembered the Jimson Weeds growing on the farm when I left in 1987 so I had no clue they had become an issue.
So, being a plantaholic, I first admired the flowers on the Jimson Weed. The problem was that there were A LOT of them. It wasn’t just 1-3 plants, there were HUNDREDS. Dad was not a young man and he had asked me to return to the farm to help with mom and the farm. He and I worked on fences together and we cut down a few trees.
Basically, dad was ready and needed to rest and it was time for me to take the reins. Dad had been mowing the weeds in the pastures and around the pond so I continued. He said the Jimson weeds were easily pulled up. SO, I mowed, pulled, sprayed, and dug not only the Jimson Weeds but also the Bull Thistles (Cirsium vulgare). Both were invasive and both were neat plants with beautiful flowers but enough was enough. Neither species should be neglected and you need to do what you can to keep them in check. While Jimson Weed seeds may not be as viable for as many years as thistle seeds (30-50 years), as many plants as were here do put out a lot of seeds. It eventually becomes a never-ending battle.
The seed pods of Datura stramonium are similar to those the Datura innoxia (Moon Flower) I had grown in Mississippi. The stems are a purple color and the leaves are dark green and similar to other Datura species. For the most part, Datura species have many similar characteristics to one another including their toxicity and foul smell of their leaves and stems.
The flowers are amazing and have a sweet scent that opens at night and attracts moths which aid in pollination.
If left unmaintained, many Datura species will become quite invasive. While many species of Datura are used in making medicine for various conditions, it is not one you would want to use as a herbal remedy unless you know absolutely what you are doing. Datura species are hallucinogenic and can cause serious adverse reactions…
The family Solanaceae has many genera of plants that have similar toxicity issues, such as Brugmansia (Angel Trumpet), and you should avoid handling these plants without gloves or at least wash very thoroughly after handling. As I mentioned earlier, I did grow Datura innoxia and Datura metel while living in Mississippi. I also grew Brugmansia, the Angel Trumpet, and really enjoyed them but I always washed my hands thoroughly after handling them.
The links below provide some interesting reading as well as for proper ID.
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. I have grown over 500 different plants and most have pages listed on the right side of the blog. I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a horticulturalist I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at email@example.com. I would enjoy hearing from you.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
MSU-MIDWEST WEEDS AND WILDFLOWERS
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
KANSAS WILDFLOWERS AND GRASSES
PFAF (PLANTS FOR A FUTURE)
THE POISON GARDEN WEBSITE
NOTE: The figures may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates (and if they update their sources or even read what they say). Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates at least once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂