Datura ferox

Scientific Name Datura ferox
Common Names English: Fierce thorn-apple, large thorn-apple; French: Datura; Spanish: chamico; German: Dorniger Stechapfel
Description Stout annual herb, glabrous or sparsely pubescent with non-glandular hairs, vigourous, seed-propagated weed with spindle-shaped, white, heavily-ramified root. The entire plant is very poisonous due to the alcaloids Hyoscyamin, Atropin and Scopolamin!


Characteristic Features

Fierce thorn-apple fruits have 40 to 60 prominent spines approximately 3 cm (1.18 inch) long on an egg-shaped capsule.


Long, slender, lanceolate acuminate, short-petiolate.


Smooth, about 1 m (39.37 inch).


Mature leaves from broadly-ovate and somewhat angular to rounded-triangular, the lamina up to 14 cm (5.51 inch) long and 16 cm (6.29 inch) wide, with a few shallow usually toothed or sinuate lobes.

Propagation Organs


Calyx to 3.5 cm (1.37 inch) long, 5-lobed, the lobes 4-7 mm (0.16 - 0.27 inch) long.
Corolla 4-6 cm (1.57 - 2.36 inch) long, white, 5-lobed, the lobes ending in a point 1-2 mm (0.039 - 0.078 inch) long.
Stamens not exserted.
Anthers 3-4 mm (0.12 - 0.16 inch) long.
Style approximately 3 cm (1.18 inch) long.
Stigma below anthers.

Flowering Period

Summer until autumn.


Capsule ellipsoid or nearly so, to 4 cm (1.57 inch) long, erect, spiny.
Spines usually 40-60, stout, conical, sharp, usually longer near capsule summit, the longest at least half length of capsule.
Persistent base of calyx to 8 mm (0.31 inch) long.


4-5 mm (0.16 - 0.19 inch) long, black or gray. Germination from late spring until summer.

Viability of Seeds

Approximately 20 years.


By seeds.



Waste ground and disturbed areas.


Prefers warm and nitrogen-rich soils and light.

Agricultural Importance

Datura ferox is a weed of waste ground and disturbed areas in agricultural and pastoral districts. It is often a serious weed of summer grain crops. The seeds are spread in grain and fodder as well as by agricultural machinery. Fierce thorn-apple plants, particularly the seeds, contain alkaloids which are potentially toxic to animals.


Useful non-chemical contribution to Integrated Weed Management

Small infestations can be grubbed out or removed by hand, preferably before seed set. If mature seeds are present, these should be collected and can be destroyed by burning.

Related Crops

Choose directly from Category



Search directly for a particular pest



Search directly for a particular disease



Search directly for a particular weed

Choose by Crop