Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium), often referred to as thornapple, is a widespread large and coarse shrub of the Solanaceae family. D. stramonium has a large root and taproot system, with a green or purple hairless, erect, and branching stem. It has football to egg shaped, hairless or semi-hairless leaves which have wavy-toothed to wavy-lobed edges. Showy, white or purple, trumpet-shaped flowers bloom June through September. Egg-shaped spiny pod fruits stand erect from the forks of its branches, which contain tiny brown to black seeds.
Jimsonweed contains tropane alkaloids, which are anticholinergenic, meaning they reduce the metabolic effects of an important compound called acetylcholine. This compound stimulates muscles to contract and is important for brain activity and normal nerve function.
- loss of appetite
- dilated pupils
- excessive thirst
- increased respiratory rate
MECHANICAL CONTROL: hand-pulling while wearing gloves. Seedlings are readily killed by tillage. However, older plants may regenerate from lower nodes that are clipped or trampled. Hoe before weeds exceed 1/4 inch in height. Fire is effective on small jimsonweed.
CHEMICAL CONTROL: Several herbicides are effective.
- G Damerow The Chicken Health Handbook Storey Publishing (2015)
- Barajas, M.; Guharoy, S. Atropine intoxication secondary to the ingestion of jimson weed (Datura stramonium). ASHP Annu Meeting, 47 P-44D (1990)
- Flunker, L. K.; Damron, B. L.; Sundlof, S. F. Jimsonweed seed contamination of broiler chick and White Leghorn hen diets. Nutr Rep Int, 36(3), 551-556 (1987)
- Day, E. J.; Dilworth, B. C. Toxicity of jimson weed seed and cocoa shell meal to broilers. Poult Sci, 63(3), 466-468 (1984)