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Publication #SP 37

Jimson Weed, Datura stramonium L.1

David W. Hall, Vernon V. Vandiver, and Jason A. Ferrell2


Common Name: Jimson Weed

Scientific Name: Datura stramonium L.

Family: Solanaceae, Nightshade Family


The cotyledons are narrow, long (24 mm) and pointed (Figure 1). The leaves are alternate, somewhat heart-shaped, especially at the base, with smooth edges. The stem and leaf petioles are purplish in color.

Figure 1. 

Seedling, Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium L.)

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Mature Plant

Jimson Weed is an annual, 5-15 cm tall. The stems are smooth, green, hollow and branching (Plate: mature plant ). The leaves alternate on stout leaf stalks, and are large, ovate and 7-15 cm long, with margins irregularly cut and toothed. The flowers are white and solitary on short stalks in the forks of the branches: the corolla is trumpet shaped, 7-10 cm long, 5 cm wide at the mouth, and 5-lobed; and the stamens, five in number, are attached to the tube slightly below the middle. The fruit is a spiny, ovoid, green, 4-celled capsule about 5 cm long. The fruit develops rapidly, splitting open at the top when mature. The seeds are many, dark brown, wrinkled and pitted on the surface.

Figure 2. 

Mature plant, Jimson weed (Datura stramonium L.)

[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]


The generic name Datura is taken from the Arabic name for this plant, Dhatura. The Latin species name stramonium is the old generic name for this genus. The word is thought to be from struma which means swollen.


This weed is found in cultivated and disturbed areas throughout the southeastern United States, and throughout temperate and tropical areas of the world.


Seeds from this weed responded to GA3 at a concentration of 10-2 with germination of 36%, while Thiorea at 10-3 increased the germination to 35%. Seeds were found to germinate at a rate of 12% when prepared in a water-agar solution. All parts of this plant are poisonous.



Pursuit, Strongarm or Valor applied preemergence will all control jimsonweed, but Strongarm is the most effective and consistent option. At cracking, paraquat + Basagran is highly effective, more so than paraquat applied alone. Additionally, postemergence applications of Basagran, Ultra Blazer, Storm, or Cadre are all highly effective and will routinely provide >90% control.


Cotoran and Karmex applied preemergence will often give good control of jimsonweed. Postemergence applications of Staple or glyphosate are extremely effective on jimsonweed. Additionally, most all postdirected herbicides will provide 90% or greater control of jimsonweed.



This document is SP 37, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date May 1991. Revised April 2003. Reviewed January 2012. Visit the EDIS website at


David W. Hall, former extension botanist, Herbarium, Florida Museum of Natural History; Vernon V. Vandiver, associate professor emeritus, Agronomy Department; and Jason A. Ferrell, assistant professor, Agronomy Department; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.