Datura stramoniumSolanaceae
Whole Plant
Whole PlantFlowerFruit
Photos (c) Cheryl Comeau Beaton unless otherwise noted


  • Jamestown-weed, Thorn-apple, Mad-apple, Moonflower, Stinkwort
  • Datura tatula

The Plant:

  • A stout, branched annual with a sprawling habit, 2-5 feet tall.

The Leaves:

  • long
  • gray-green or purplish
  • ovate
  • serrated
  • 3-8 inches long
  • tiny, smooth hairs

The Stem:

  • pale green to purple

The Flowers:

  • Large, white, trumpet-shaped, solitary flowers. Corollas are up to 6 inches long, with five points and a purple tinge on the margins. Flowers are short stalked and held in leaf axils. They open after dark and close by mid-morning.

The Fruits:

  • prickly, globose
  • walnut-sized, green drying to brown
  • hard
  • dehiscent
  • spikes small, slender
  • large, flat seeds

The Habitat:

  • disturbed areas, roadsides, fields
  • waste places
  • gardens


  • seeds are moved around by clothing, shoes, in hay and farm equipment

Key ID Features:

  • ill-scented
  • large solitary flowers
  • purple tinged
  • 5 pointed corolla
  • thorny, walnut-sized fruits.

Similar Species:

  • Common cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium) seedlings lack the distinct odor, prominent teeth and smooth leaves of jimsonweed.


  • All parts of this plant are poisonous, to humans and livestock. Naturalizes and becomes weedy.
  • A noxious weed on Nantucket.

Growth Form: Herb

Origin: Central America, Mexico

Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Do not list at this time

Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Not evaluated

Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: no

Credits: The Electronic Field Guide to the Invasive Plants of Nantucket (c) 2005-2006 Maria Mitchell Association, EFG Project, UMass Boston