General Description: Annual, reproducing only by seed.
Similar Species: It is distinguished by its tall, stout, branched stem (like small trees), large leaves, large, white or purplish trumpet-shaped flowers, large spiny seedpod and sour repulsive odour.
Jimsonweed (A – plant beginning to flower; B – portion of stem with spiny seedpods).
Saara Nafici is the executive director of Added Value/Red Hook Community Farm. She is also the former coordinator of the Garden Apprentice Program at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and a longtime activist, feminist, bicyclist, naturalist, and youth educator. Follow her weedy plant adventures on Instagram.
No plant should be wiped from the Earth. They all have purposes, good ones if not misused or over done.
What is the best way to get rid of this plant?
Though the trumpet-shaped flowers are stunning, my favorite part of the plant is the devilish-looking seedpod. The size of a Ping-Pong ball and covered in spikes, the seed capsule splits into four parts like a monster’s maw, revealing the dark brown seeds inside. In the winter you might notice its tall, dry stalks bearing the prickly seedpods, which to me look like the scepter for a demon. With all its extraordinary looks and lore, jimson weed is a fascinating plant to contemplate (but maybe not cultivate)!
Weed of the Month: Queen Anne’s Lace ›
This year I had 3 pop up in my flower garden… and one has to be every bit of 2 to 3 feet tall, and covered in pods. Where do they come from, any ideas?