Plant: annual herb; glabrate to pubescent, with a short, weak tap root Leaves: ovate, oblong to elliptical, 5-21 cm long, 4-15 cm wide, usually puberulent along veins, later glabrescent, sinuate-dentate to -lobed; apex acute; base cuneate to subcordate; petioles usually about half as long as blade Flowers: with calyx 3-6 cm long, the teeth lanceolate to acuminate, (3-)5-7(-10) mm long; corolla white, tinged with lavender or purple, the tube 5-10 cm long, the limb 3-5 cm wide, the acumens subulate, 4-8 mm long Fruit: FRUITS erect, dehiscing along 4 sutures to base, green, ovoid to ellipsoid, 3-5 cm long, with 100-300 spines, these 0.8-1.5 mm long; pericarp glabrate to puberulent; persistent calyx base reflexed; SEEDS black, reniform to discoid, 3-4 mm long, 2-3.5 mm wide, rugose Misc: Roadsides and waste grounds; 950-1750 m (3200-5500 ft); Apr-Nov REFERENCES: Bye, Robert. 2001. Solanaceae. JJ. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 33(1).
Coarse, heavy-scented, inconspicuously puberulent annual to 1.5 m, often divaricately branched; lvs petiolate, with large, coarsely few-toothed or sublobate blade to 2 נ1.5 dm; cal 3-5 cm, strongly prismatic and narrowly 5-winged, unequally 5-toothed, the persistent base 4-6 mm and spreading to reflexed; cor white or anthocyanic, 7-10 cm, the limb 3-5 cm wide, shallowly 5-lobed, each lobe with a slender, projecting tooth to 1 cm; fr erect, ovoid, 3-5 cm, generally covered with short prickles, the lower prickles often shorter than the upper (or the fr smooth); 2n=24. Dry soil and waste places; widespread in temperate and warm regions, perhaps of American origin. June-Aug. (D. tatula, with anthocyanic fls)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
The whole plant is very poisonous when taken internally, yet it is much used in medicine externally. Plants are found with white flowers and green stems and with purple flowers and purplish stems; some plants have capsules with all of the prickles of the same length while other plants have capsules with the lower prickles of the capsule shorter. Until recently the two plants have been regarded as separate species. In recent years much genetic study has been given these two forms and the result of this study shows that the two characters used to separate the species do not correlate, so it seems best to regard the two forms as a polymorphic species. This species has been reported from all parts of the state. It was formerly much more abundant than at present. Its decrease may be due partly to the changed habitat, but probably more to the fact that farmers recognize its poisonous character and destroy it. When I was a boy it was a common weed of barnyards and hogyards but now it is rarely seen; when it is found there it is usually a common weed, because all stock avoid it. It is found sometimes in waste places and cultivated fields.
JANAS 2001, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Annual Nativity: Non-Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous, shrubby annuals, stems erect to ascending, herbage glabrate to pubescent, plants with a short, weak tap root. Leaves: Alternate, ovate or oblong to elliptical in outline, 5-21 cm long, 4-15 cm wide, margins sinuate-dentate to lobed, apices acute, bases cuneate to subcordate, surfaces usually puberulent along veins, later glabrescent, petioles usually about half as long as blade. Flowers: Large and showy, white, tinged with lavender or purple, corolla tubes 5-10 cm long, limb 3-5 cm wide, the acumens subulate, 4-8 mm long, calyx 3-6 cm long, the teeth lanceolate to acuminate, 3-10 mm long, flowers borne terminally or in leaf axils. Fruits: Fruits green, ovoid to ellipsoid, 3-5 cm long, with relatively many spines, these less than 10 mm long, relatively slender, sometimes much-reduced or wanting, surface glabrate to puberulent, dehiscing along 4 sutures to base, fruits borne erect, the persi Ecology: Found on roadsides and waste grounds, from 3,000-5,500 ft (914-1676 m); flowering April-November. Distribution: Widespread throughout the United States, British Columbia and Quebec. Notes: This species differs from the similar D. quercifolia by the relatively many spines, these less than 10 mm long, sometimes much reduced or wanting, and the leaves which are repand to coarsely sinuate-toothed in D. stramonium, (D. quercifolia has has relatively few spines, the longer ones more than 10 mm long, and leaves which are usually pinnately lobed). Ethnobotany: Poultice of crushed leaves applied to fresh wounds, boils, areas of inflammation, sore throat, and applied to the chest for pneumonia, plant smoked for asthma, seeds pounded, mixed with tallow and salve and used for wounds and piles. The seeds and leaves are also considered poisonous. Etymology: Datura comes from the Hindu vernacular name, while stramonium means spiky-fruited, and a name used by Theophrastus for the thorn-apple. Synonyms: Many, see Tropicos Editor: LCrumbacher 2012
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