Thornapple

Poisonous Poisonous Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer

This deadly poisonous plant from the Nightshade family is usually only found in gardens and flower beds but you can come across it as an escapee in the wild as it is an aggressive weed.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Thornapple
Scientific Name Datura stramonium
Season Start Jun
Season End Oct
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Dark green on top, lighter underneath. The leaves are shiny and largely toothed or scalloped around the edges.

Flowers

White, long and trumpet shaped ending in five points emerging from a fairly long green calyx.

Seeds

Many small black seeds are within the conker like pod.

Seed Pods

A conker like spikey green pod which splits into four releasing the seeds. Can be found with spineless ‘conkers’.

Habitat

Mainly planted in formal gardens and flowerbeds but can occasionally be found elsewhere when it has escaped.

Smell

Thornapple is described as foul smelling.

Frequency

Uncommon.

Medicinal Uses

Was used as an analgesic by some ancient cultures and in Europe it was used as an anti-inflammatory particularly for haemorrhoids and also used to treat epilepsy and convulsions.

Other Facts

Thornapple has been used by South American shamens to enter altered states and also as a recreational drug producing hallucinations but both shamen and recreational users have died using Thornapple as its toxic tropane alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine can vary in amount and ratio from plant to plant.

COMMENTS

7 comments for Thornapple

  1. Renee Glassburn says:

    Thank you so very much. I found this “thorn apple “ growing in my yard under a walnut tree. It was unusual so I asked a friend by sending a photo. She referred me to your institution.

  2. Patricia Slade says:

    I found this plant in the middle of my garden and had no idea what it was or how it ended up in a garden that hasn’t been added to in years. It looks healthy and stands about 2.5 feet tall. I was happy to see it will eventually flower.

  3. Marge Dembowski says:

    I found this plant in my garden and it’s extremely large. The stems are almost tree like. After reading about this plant I’m concerned for the safety of me and my pets. Please tell me how to get rid of this plant or will it die on its own and not return

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      It can not cause poisoning unless ingested so I would leave it alone. If it must be removed it should be cut back to ground level and the stump removed.

  4. Lynne barner says:

    Can it be brought in by birds

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      Birds can be responsible for spreading this plant and the seeds can stay viable for years until the perfect conditions.

  5. Pargeter says:

    Found growing between paving and wall in area where birds are fed with seeds.In Nottinghamshire.

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