Field Guide     Weed Management     Jimsonweed

Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium L.)

Crop Impacts: Cultivated fields, farms, gardens

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About Jimson Weed:

The most important thing to know about this weed is that the entire plant is poisonous to humans and animals and has a sour, repulsive odor to it. Jimson Weed is a summer annual plant that only reproduces by its seeds. It grows at the same time as your crops, taking a lot of the nutrients and sunlight from the desired plants in that particular area. The roots also produce and release various alkaloids that are toxic to the other plants.

Family: Nightshade or Potato Family (Solanaceae)

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Jimson Weed Scouting and Prevention:

The Jimson Weed can be found in all of North America in cultivated fields and around farms. As a seedling, it has a short, smooth purple stem with alternating oval leaves and a point at the end. At full maturity this weed can grow to 5 feet or more, it has shallow and well branched roots with a thick green purple stem. This plant also produces flowers that are white to pinkish in color and are about 2 to 5 inches wide and funnel shaped. Jimsonweed flowers bloom between June and September. During these blooming months’, flowers will not fully open until the evening and close up when the sun starts to rise. The alternating leaves have a toothed margin with pointed tips, are dark green and are oval or triangular in overall shape. Jimson Weed produces a very unique seed that is about 1 inch across, circular in shape, and has very short and sharp spines sticking out of it. This is where about 400 to 800 seeds stay until early spring when the pod opens and they fall to the ground. These flat, black or brown with a white scar, kidney-shaped, pitted and wrinkled seeds are 1/8 inches wide and can be seen on the ground if they have not yet been disturbed.

The best thing to do with Jimsonweed is to prevent it from growing. You can do this by making sure you purchase clean seeds and making sure that harvesting equipment is cleaned after working in contaminated fields.

Jimson Weed Control:

If Jimsonweed does appear, the best and easiest thing to do is to mow it before the seeds are released in early spring. If you do decide to pull them out, make sure that you wear gloves and do not let it get in your eyes or come in contact with your skin due to the poison it produces. Cultivating is a temporary way to deal with Jimsonweed due to the fact that the seeds will lie dormant in the soil. Another easy way to deal with Jimsonweed is to rotate from corn or soybeans, to small grains or alfalfa.

Latin / Alternative Jimson Weed names:

  • - Datura stramonium L.
  • - Stramoine commune
  • - Stinkweed Thornapple
  • - Pomme 茅pineuse
  • - Herbe du diable

Additional Jimson Weed Resources