Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Solanaceae
Datura metel

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 179 (1753).

Synonymy: D. fastuosa L., Syst. Nat. edn 10, 2:932 (1759).

Common name: None

Stout annual herb 0.5-1 m, glabrous or sparsely pubescent with non-glandular hairs; leaves ovate to broadly ovate, usually angular, 10-16 x 5-15 cm, almost entire, or coarsely serrate, the lobes entire.

Flowers 14-20 cm long, usually double or triple by petaloid outgrowth of corolla and stamens; corolla deep-purple outside, pale-lavender to white inside; lobes 5, separated by distinct sinuses; stigma well below the anthers.

Capsule deflexed, ovoid to globose, 3-4 cm diam. (excluding tubercles), breaking irregularly; spines 100-200, blunt (tubercle-like), much shorter than half the length of the capsule; seeds deep-yellow, sometimes brownish.

image of FSA3_Datura_met.jpg Flowering branch, spreading corolla lobes, fruit and seed.
Image source: fig. 562D in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Distribution:  Locally, plants are found as uncommon garden escapes sometimes persisting about abandoned homesteads.

  W.Aust.; N.T.; Qld; N.S.W.   Native to western Asia, but widespread in cultivation as an ornamental and drug plant from early times.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: summer.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: Several variants of this species are known but presumably the single-corolla, white-flowered plant is the wild form. In Australia, only the multiple-corolla, purple-flowered form with usually deeply purple-tinged branches and leaves, described above is known to occur outside cultivation.

Taxonomic notes: In the past, the name D. metel was widely misapplied, in Australia and elsewhere, to D. inoxia and D. wrightii.

Author: Not yet available

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