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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Erect or sprawling annual or short-lived perennial herb or small shrub, up to c. 2 m. Branches often purple-tinged, softly pubescent and more or less glandular; all parts unpleasantly scented. Leaves alternate, more or less broadly ovate to elliptic, up to 17 × 9.5 cm, thinly textured, pubescent, particularly near the base below, on the veins and the margin; base often decurrent into the petiole; margin with coarse to almost lobe-sized triangular teeth. Flowers solitary in the forks of the branches, erect when fresh, later drooping. Calyx long and tube-like, up to 11.5 cm long, sometimes purplish and somewhat swollen towards the base, 5-angled with ovate to linear-triangular unequal apical lobes, up to 2.5 cm long. Corolla white or creamy, sometimes purple-tinged, 13-21 cm long, trumpet-shaped, somewhat 10-12-lobed with acuminate tips. Fruit nodding to pendulous, almost round to ovoid, up to 6 × 5.5 cm (including spines), covered with numerous slender spines, 8-12 mm long, purple-green to brownish when ripe, breaking up irregularly. All parts of the plant are poisonous.
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Southwest OK, south and west TX, west to CA, south to central MX.

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Distribution in Egypt

Nile and Mediterranean regions, Sinai.

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Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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Global Distribution

Native to south America, naturalized in warm regions.

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Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Shandong, Xinjiang [native to the Americas]
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Worldwide distribution

Native to tropical C and S America. Naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Herbs erect, 1-2 m tall, densely pubescent and glandular. Petiole 3-5 cm; leaf blade broadly ovate, 10-18 × 4-15 cm, membranous or felty, minutely tomentose, base rounded or obtuse, asymmetric, margin subentire, sinuate, or irregularly dentate, apex acute; veins 7-10 pairs. Flowers erect. Pedicel 1-5 cm. Calyx cylindric, 8-10 × 2-3 cm; lobes narrowly deltate, 1-2 cm, sometimes unequal. Corolla greenish proximally, white at apex, 15-18 cm; limb 7-10 cm in diam.; lobes mucronate at apex. Filaments ca. 5.5 cm; anthers 1-1.7 cm. Capsules deflexed, globose or ovoid, 3-4 cm in diam., densely armed with slender, subequal prickles, pubescent with white hairs, irregularly dehiscent at apex, subtended by remnants of persistent calyx. Seeds numerous, brown, discoid-reniform, 3-5 mm in diam. Fl. and fr. Jun-Sep.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Sandy soil on flood plains and bottomlands.

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Occasional escape from cultivation.

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Near villages, roadsides, also cultivated; 300-600 m.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Perennial.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Datura inoxia

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Datura inoxia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Datura meteloides Dunal

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Datura inoxia

Flower in Hyderabad, India.

Datura inoxia (thorn-apple, downy thorn-apple, Indian-apple, lovache, moonflower, sacred datura, nacazcul, toloatzin, tolguache or toloache) is a species in the family Solanaceae. It is native to Central and South America, and introduced in Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. The scientific name is often cited as D. innoxia.[1] When English botanist Philip Miller first described the species in 1768, he misspelled the Latin word innoxia (inoffensive) when naming it D. inoxia. The name Datura meteloides was for some time erroneously applied to some members of the species, but that name has now been abandoned.[2]

Description[edit]

D. inoxia with ripe, split-open fruit

Datura inoxia is an annual shrubby plant that typically reaches a height of 0.6 to 1.5 metres.[3][4] Its stems and leaves are covered with short and soft grayish hairs, giving the whole plant a grayish appearance. It has elliptic entire-edged leaves with pinnate venation.[2] All parts of the plant emit a foul odor similar to rancid peanut butter when crushed or bruised, although most people find the fragrance of the flowers to be quite pleasant when they bloom at night.[5][citation needed]

The flowers are white, trumpet-shaped, 12–19 cm (4.75-7.5 in) long.[6] They first grow upright, and later incline downward. It flowers from early summer until late fall.

The fruit is an egg-shaped spiny capsule, about 5 cm in diameter. It splits open when ripe, dispersing the seeds. Another means of dispersal is by the fruit spines getting caught in the fur of animals, who then carry the fruit far from the mother plant. The seeds have hibernation capabilities, and can last for years in the soil. The seeds, as well as the entirety of this plant, act as deliriants, but have a high probability of overdose.

Toxicity[edit]

Main article: Datura (Toxicity)

All parts of Datura plants contain dangerous levels of poison and may be fatal if ingested by humans and other animals, including livestock and pets. In some places it is prohibited to buy, sell or cultivate Datura plants.[2]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

When cultivated, the plant is usually grown from seed, but its perennial rhizomes can be kept from freezing and planted in the spring of the following year.[2]

Datura inoxia, like other Datura species, contains the highly toxic alkaloids atropine, hyoscine (scopolamine), and hyoscyamine. The Aztecs called the plant toloatzin, and used it long before the Spanish conquest of Mexico for many therapeutic purposes, such as poultices for wounds where it acts as an anodyne.[citation needed] Although the Aztecs warned against madness and "various and vain imaginings", many native Americans have used the plant as an entheogen for hallucinations and rites of passage. The alkaloids of these plants are very similar to those of mandrake, deadly nightshade, and henbane, which are also highly poisonous plants used cautiously for effective pain relief in antiquity.[7]

Datura intoxication typically produces a complete inability to differentiate reality from fantasy (delirium, as contrasted to hallucination); hyperthermia; tachycardia; bizarre, and possibly violent behavior; and severe mydriasis with resultant painful photophobia that can last several days. Pronounced amnesia is another commonly reported effect.[8] There can easily be a 5:1 variation in toxins from plant to plant, and a given plant's toxicity depends on its age, where it is growing, and local weather conditions. These wide variations make Datura exceptionally hazardous to use as a drug. In traditional cultures, users needed to have a great deal of experience and detailed plant knowledge so that no harm resulted from using it.[2] Such knowledge is not widely available in modern cultures, so many unfortunate incidents result from ingesting Datura. In the 1990s and 2000s, the United States media contained stories of adolescents and young adults dying or becoming seriously ill from intentionally ingesting Datura.[9]

It has also been planted throughout the world as an ornamental plant for its attractive large leaves, large white flowers, and distinctive thorny fruit. However, the plant is now considered an invasive species in several locations. For example, because of the similarity of its life cycle to that of cotton, it is a pest in cotton fields. It is also a potential seed contaminant.

Similar species[edit]

Datura inoxia is quite similar to Datura metel, to the point of being confused with it in early scientific literature. D. metel is a closely related Old World plant for which similar effects were described by Avicenna in eleventh century Persia. The closely related Datura stramonium differs in having smaller flowers and tooth-edged leaves, and Datura wrightii in having wider, 5-toothed (instead of 10-toothed) flowers. Datura inoxia differs from D. stramonium, D. metel & D.fastuosa in having about 7 to 10 secondary veins on either side of the midrib of the leaf which anastomose by arches at about 1 to 3 mm. from the margin. No anastomosis of the secondary veins are seen in the other 4 major species of Datura.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jimsonweed-Nightshade Family". 
  2. ^ a b c d e Preissel, Ulrike; Preissel, Hans-Georg (2002). Brugmansia and Datura: Angel's Trumpets and Thorn Apples. Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books. pp. 117–119. ASIN 1552095584. ISBN 1-55209-598-3. 
  3. ^ "Datura Inoxia_Plant World Seeds". 
  4. ^ "Datura inoxia_TrekNature". 
  5. ^ Annapoorani, S. Grace (April 2013). "An Eco-Friendly Antimicrobial Finish Using Datura Innoxia and Leucas Aspera on Cotton Fabric". International Journal of Scientific Research(IJSR) 2 (4). 
  6. ^ "Datura inoxia_Desert Thornapple_EOL". 
  7. ^ Richard Evans Schultes (1970-01-01). "The plant kingdom and hallucinogens (part III)". pp. 25–53. Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  8. ^ "Erowid Datura Vault : Effects". Erowid. Retrieved 1 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "Suspected Moonflower Intoxication (Ohio, 2002)". CDC. Retrieved September 30, 2006. 

Further reading[edit]

  • A. Alon, ed. in chief, Plants and Animals of the Land of Israel, Vol. 11: Flowering Plants B., p. 92; ed. M. Raviv and D. Heler; Ministry of Defence Publications and the Society for Protection of Nature (in Hebrew), 1983.
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Notes

Comments

The leaves and flowers are used medicinally as in Datura stramonium.
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