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 stramonium

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

Synonymy: D. tatula L., Sp. Pl. 179 (1753); D. stramonium L. vat. tatula (L.)Torrey, Flor. nth. middle US. 1:232 (1824), both for the lavender-flowered forms.

Common name: Common thornapple, purple-flowered thornapple.

Stout annual herb 0.2-1.2 m tall, glabrous or sparsely pubescent with non-glandular hairs; leaves rhombic or angularly ovate, 7-36 x 4-20 cm, coarsely and irregularly sinuate-dentate, some of the 3-5 lobes further toothed.

Flowers 6.5-8.5, rarely to 10 cm long; corolla white or pale-lavender with darker markings in the throat; lobes 5, separated by distinct sinuses; stigma below, level with or above the anthers.

Capsule erect, ovoid, 2-4.5 x 1.5-3.5 cm (excluding the spines), dehiscing by 4 entire valves; spines 100-200, slender, sharp, of variable length but evenly distributed, the longest less than half the length of the capsule; seeds black or grey, 2.5-4.5 mm long.

image of FSA3_Datura_str.jpg Flowering branch, spreading corolla lobes, fruit and seed.
Image source: fig. 562E in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Purdie et al. (1982) Flora of Australia 29:fig. 51.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: FR, EA, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   W.Aust.; Qld; N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.   Probably native to North America though of uncertain origin and early widespread in Europe and western Asia; widely naturalised in temperate and warm-temperate regions of the world. Widespread weed of agricultural districts, usually in small, scattered populations, sometimes forming dense infestations, especially along perennial watercourses and in irrigated summer crops and pastures.

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: Toxic to stock, usually when fed as a contaminant in grain to poultry and pigs. Natural hybrids with D. ferox are known to occur.

Author: Not yet available

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