Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium
) is a tall shrub with hanging, trumpet-shaped flowers that is a member of the Solanaceae family. Jimsonweed 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.
All parts of D. stramonium
contains tropane alkaloids, tannins, saponins and cardiac glycosides. There are sixty-four different types of tropane alkaloids, however the ones of main concern are atropine and scopolamine. Horses generally will avoid eating D. stramonium
, due to its unpleasant odor, unless no other forage is available or its mixed in with the hay. The range of toxicity is highly variable and unpredictable; toxicity may vary from leaf to leaf, plant to plant and season to season. The highest concentration occurs in D. stramonium
seeds: approximately 0.1 mg of atropine per seed or 3-6 mg/50-100 seeds.