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Datura inoxia - Mill.

Common Name Downy Thorn Apple, Pricklyburr
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards All members of this genus contain narcotics and are very poisonous, even in small doses[200].
Habitats Sandy or gravelly dry open places below 1200 metres in California[71].
Range South-western N. America.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Datura inoxia Downy Thorn Apple, Pricklyburr


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Datura_metel_Blanco1.34.jpg
Datura inoxia Downy Thorn Apple, Pricklyburr
http://www.flickr.com/people/20087733@N00

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Datura inoxia is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

D. meteloides. DC.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses: Drink

Fruit - ground up and mixed with clay[161] ( the clay probably has a neutralizing effect on the toxins). A very toxic plant, its use as a food cannot be recommended[K]. The fruit is up to 5cm long and 7cm wide[200]. A stupefying beverage is made from the leaves and roots[161].

Medicinal Uses

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Anodyne  Antispasmodic  Hallucinogenic  Hypnotic  Narcotic

All parts of the plant are anodyne, antispasmodic, hallucinogenic, hypnotic and narcotic[192, 240]. It has been used in the past as a pain killer and also in the treatment of insanity, fevers with catarrh, diarrhoea and skin diseases[240]. The plant contains several alkaloids, the most active of which is scopolamine[240]. This is a potent cholinergic-blocking hallucinogen, which has been used to calm schizoid patients[213]. The leaves contain 0.52% scopolamine, the calices 1.08%, the stems 0.3%, the roots 0.39%, the fruits 0.77%, the capsules 0.33%, the seeds 0.44% and the whole plant 0.52 - 0.62%[240]. Any use of this plant should be with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner since the toxic dose is very close to the medicinal dose.

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Other Uses

Planted throughout the world as an ornamental plant for its attractive large leaves, large white flowers, and distinctive thorny fruit. However, the plant is now considered an invasive species in several locations.

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a rich light sandy soil[1] and an open sunny position[200]. It is best grown in a fertile calcareous soil[200]. Plants are not very cold-hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c[260]. Plants can be grown outdoors as half-hardy annuals, starting the seed off in a greenhouse. This species is extremely susceptible to the various viruses that afflict the potato family (Solanaceae), it can act as a centre of infection so should not be grown near potatoes or tomatoes[200]. This species is a commercial source of the alkaloid scopolamine, used in the pharmaceutical industry[240].

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Propagation

Sow the seed in individual pots in early spring in a greenhouse[200]. Put 3 or 4 seeds in each pot and thin if necessary to the best plant. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 15°c. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Especially in areas with hot summers, it is worthwhile trying a sowing outdoors in situ in mid to late spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

angel's trumpet; hoary thorn-apple; Indian-apple; moonapple; sacred datura; thorn-apple. Spanish: cacaito. French: datura innocente. Arabic: datura; tatoora. Australia: downy thorn-apple; recurved thorn-apple. Brazil: datura-européia; trombeta-branca; trombeteira-branca. China: mao man tuo luo. Korea, Republic of: teoldogmalpul. Mexico: toloache. South Africa: harige stinkblaar. Sweden: mexikansk spikklubba. USA: pricklyburr.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Afghanistan, Africa, Asia, Australia, Botswana, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Central Africa, Central America, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, East Africa, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinée, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, India, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, New Caledonia, Niger, Nigeria, North Africa, North America, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, SE Asia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Southern Africa, South America, Sudan, Syria, USA, Venezuela, West Africa, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Invasive in the Galapagos islands, New Caledonia, mainland China and Taiwan, and in South Africa and Namibia. It is widely naturalized in the tropics and increasingly in temperate Europe and North America. D. innoxia has been listed as a Declared Weed in South Africa which is prohibited and must be controlled [1d]

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Datura metelThorn Apple, Angel's Trumpet, Hindu Datura, Horn of Plenty, Downy Thorn AppleAnnual1.5 8-11 MLMNDM13 
Datura quercifoliaOak Leaf Datura, Chinese thorn-appleAnnual1.5 7-10  LMNDM130
Datura stramoniumThorn Apple, Jimsonweed, Jamestown WeedAnnual1.5 6-9 MLMNDM041

 

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Expert comment

Author

Mill.

Botanical References

71200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

j fombona   Wed Jun 15 15:23:43 2005

Just a comment on the Spanish name in Venezuela, it should be "ñongué". It is known by its allucinogenic poison and the fact that it can be passed on to the honey and comb of local wasps.

Tom D   Fri Aug 27 16:12:18 2004

Link: Datura Poisoning - Pacific School of Herbal Medicine Antidote for Datura Poisoning

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