Hello, I just found this beautiful plant in my garden this year and was to excited UNTIL I read your article. How do I dispose of it?
How do I dispose of this plant? We got it from a load of loam that we bought locally in Rhode Island.
I wonder why plants, like Jimson weed, are not completely wiped out of the earth surface! Soo many young men have run mad by deliberately ingesting such plant parts.
Jimson weed’s white to purple blooms are fragrant at night, attracting moths and other nocturnal pollinators, a common trait in white-bloomed plants. The rest of the plant, however, is stinky! Crush and sniff the oaklike leaves, and you’ll understand why domesticated and wild animals avoid eating this plant—it smells a bit like feet. Indeed, accidental poisonings tend be more common among humans than among other animals.
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Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) is a beautiful, witchy plant that begins blooming in late summer and continues through the first frost. A member of the notorious nightshade family, its more famous cousins include tomato, eggplant, pepper, tobacco, and potato. Most members of this plant family are poisonous, and jimson weed is no exception. All parts of the plant are toxic, most particularly the seeds. Potent amounts of alkaloid compounds are present, which potentially cause convulsions, hallucinations, and even death if ingested. And as climate change increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, studies have found that the toxicity of plants like jimson weed only increases.
The species you are referring to that blooms at night is NOT jimson weed, it’s a moon plant. It is part of the jimson family but not what people will find just growing in their yard in certain areas. Pure jimson weed blooms in the day that’s how you know the difference.
The genus name Datura comes from the Hindi word for the plant, noteworthy since most botanical names are derived from Latin or Greek. The origins of the plant itself are contested—every source I checked listed a different native origin, ranging from Mexico to India, and it now grows all over the world. Not surprisingly, it has found its way into many cultural and medicinal traditions. Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, and Native American shamanistic practices all employ jimson weed medicinally or ritualistically. Its seeds and leaves are used as an antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, hypnotic, and narcotic.
Having grown up in Virginia, I was intrigued by one of the common names I saw recurring in my plant books—Jamestown weed—and researched the origins. One story simply connects the first New World observations of the plant to settlers in this early Virginia colony. A more famous tale tells of the plant’s accidental ingestion by some British soldiers sent there to suppress Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. After eating some in a stew, the soldiers spent 11 days in a hallucinatory stupor, blowing feathers, kissing and pawing their companions, and making faces and grinning “like monkey[s].”
Oh…thank you Bobbi…do you know if the moonflower is poisonous also?
Originating in America, it has been growing in Britain for more than 100 years – but a dramatic rise in sightings has been reported in the past two months.
Jill Turner, a toxic-plants expert at Kew Gardens in South-West London, believes its spread could be due to bird-feed manufacturers adding its seeds to their mix.
Thorn apple has trumpet-shaped flowers and spiky fruit, and grows up to 3ft tall. It has poisonous flowers and seeds and can cause hallucinations.
Thorn-apple flowers from July to October. Seeds mature 30 days after pollination and the seed capsule opens 20 days later. There may be 50 or more capsules per plant, 600-700 seeds per capsule and around 30,000 seeds per plant. Seeds will continue to ripen in capsules on cut down plants. Seeds taken from a partly green capsule that turn black on drying are fully viable. Immature seeds are said to germinate more readily than fully mature seed.
Dead ripe seed may germinate immediately after shedding but the majority soon becomes dormant. The low germination rates are put down to many factors including an impermeable seedcoat. A short soak or rinse in water causes the tissue within the hilum to swell, restricting oxygen uptake and inhibiting subsequent germination. Cracking or chipping the seed coat allows germination to take place.
The plant is poisonous to humans, horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, mules and chickens. Livestock normally avoid it but may be poisoned by eating contaminated hay, silage or seed screenings. Toxicity varies with growing conditions. Thorn-apple has restricted medicinal uses. In Japan, it has been found that an extract of thorn-apple can halt the growth of certain types of brain tumour.