|Scientific Name||Datura stramonium L.|
|Common Names||English: Common thorn-apple; German: Gemeiner Stechapfel; French: Stramoine commune; Spanish: Estramonio, higuera loca|
|Description||Annual, vigorous, seed-propagated weed with spindle-shaped, white, heavily-ramified root.|
Funnel-formed solitary flowers in leaf axils.
Fruit is a spiny oval capsule.
Long, slender, lanceolate acuminate, short-petiolate.
Erect, round, hairless, usually forked ramifications, 30-120 cm (11.81 - 47.24 inch) high.
Long-petiolate, ovate acuminate, wedge-shaped at the base, margin coarsely sinuate dentate. Upper surface dark green, lighter underneath.
Short-pedunculate, white, erect, single in the branch crotches or on branch tips.
Corolla funnel-shaped, with broad, plicate border, calyx long-tubed, with five teeth.
Spiny oval capsule 3-5 cm (1.18 - 1.97 inch) with many seeds.
Germination in late spring.
Viability of Seeds
Up to 30 years.
500 - 5,000 seeds/plant.
Disturbed areas, along roadsides, old fields, pastures, waste places.
D. stramonium likes warm and nitrogen-rich soils and prefers light.
Additional Crop Information
In warm climates a weed in corn, potatoes and beets (late germinator) and in disturbed areas.
The entire plant is very poisonous due to alcaloids Hyoscyamine, Atropin and Scopolamine The plant was introduced into Europe from North America and used as a drug (sedative), later it escaped and became a weed mainly in South-East Europe, from where it was spread into Western European corn fields. It shows rapid development in crops with late canopy closure. Poisonous leaves can make silage and vegetable crop inedible.
Thorn-apple is capable to extract heavy metals and radioactive materials from contaminated soils.
Useful non-chemical contribution to Integrated Weed Management
D. stramonium can be easily controlled by growing winter annual crops and forage crops that are cut several times during the year.
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