Datura ferox L.

First published in Demonstr. Pl.: 6 (1753)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Texas to Mexico. It is an annual and grows primarily in the subtropical biome. It is used as a poison and a medicine and has social uses.


Biogeografic region: Andean. Elevation range: 1000–1000 m a.s.l. Naturalised in Colombia. Colombian departments: Santander.
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, savanna, shrubland, wetlands (inland), artificial - terrestrial.

Flora Zambesiaca. Vol. 8, Part 4. Solanaceae. Gonçalves AE. 2005

Type from China.
Morphology General Habit
Erect, sometimes dichotomously branched, annual herb, 0.3–1. 2(1. 5) m high
Morphology Branches
Branches striate and ± sulcate, subglabrous or with ± sparse hairs predominant on one side at each internode
Morphology Leaves
Leaves solitary, unpleasantly scented when crushed; petiole (0.8)1–7.5(8) cm long; lamina membranous or papyraceous, 3–15.5 × 2–12 cm, ovate or rhombic-ovate, usually broadly so, base cuneate to rounded or truncate, occasionally attenuate or subcordate, and oblique to dimidiate, ± decurrent into the petiole, apex acute to obtuse, occasionally shortly acuminate, sinuate and coarsely lobed or lobed-dentate with irregular, broadly ± triangular, obtuse to acute lobes or teeth, at first minutely pubescent, later sparsely pubescent, more densely so towards the base, at or near the margins and on the nerves, or subglabrous, the lateral nerves extending to the margin
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers solitary, inserted in the fork of the branches or in the leaf axils, erect.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Pedicel
Pedicel 3.5–10 mm long, rather slender, ± pubescent, more densely so towards the base, or with hairs only on one side, sometimes glandular, in fruit elongated to 20 mm and stout
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 2.2–3.2 × 0.5–0.7 cm, 5-angled to 5-ribbed, drying with prominent longitudinal nerves, sparsely and shortly pubescent, more densely so on the nerves, towards the base and at or near the margins of the lobes, subglabrous inside; tube little or not inflated and slightly wider downwards and upwards; lobes subequal, 2.5–7 × 1. 5–3.5 mm, ovate- to triangular-lanceolate, ± long-acuminate; in fruit the flange up to 5 mm wide, ± reflexed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla white to yellowish, occasionally light blue, 4–7 cm long, narrowly infundibuliform, glabrous or with few, short hairs scattered along the nerves; tube filling the calyx for ± half or slightly less of the length, with a few, very short hairs scattered mainly below on the staminal region within; limb 1. 5–2.5(3) cm across, 5-lobed, the lobes ± triangular, narrowing into a ± acuminate to subulate tip to 5 mm long, usually ± curved
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 5(6), included; filaments adnate to above the middle of the corolla tube and with a few ± short, hyaline, sometimes glandular hairs, free upwards for 1. 7–2.1 cm and ± glabrous; anthers 4–5 mm long, ovate-linear or ± oblong in outline
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary up to 8 × 5 mm, ovoid, with long, fleshy appendages from the middle upwards, puberulous and glandular.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style 2.7–3.7 cm long, straight, glabrous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit upright, brownish to purplish-green when ripe, 4–6(8) × 4–6 cm including spines, subglobose or ovoid to ellipsoid, thick-walled, covered with relatively few, very stout, heavy, conical-acuminate, spreading spines, these unequal, the upper ones larger and up to 2.5(3) cm long, often recurved at the tip, densely puberulous all over but less abundantly on the spines, regularly breaking up
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds ± dark to greyish-brown with darker markings, 3.5–5 × 3–4 × 1. 3 mm, ± reniform, strongly thickened and alveolate at the border, finely pitted; caruncle very small, fleshy
Common name: “Large Thorn Apple”. A widespread and common weed of cultivation and disturbed ground. Whole plant poisonous. The specimen Dehn 731, from Zimbabwe (C: Marondera (Marandellas) Distr.), referred to this species by Suessenguth & Merxmüller, loc. cit. (1951), was not seen by me. Cufodontis, loc. cit. (1963), recorded this species also from Malawi. Chromosome number: 2n=24
BOT SW, BOT SE, ZIM W, ZIM C, ZIM E, ZIM S Native to southern North America (but for a long time said to be native to China based on an error from Linnaeus), now almost cosmopolitan, widely naturalized in the tropics and subtropics. Botswana. Zimbabwe

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Naturalizada y adventicia en Colombia; Alt. 1000 m.; Andes.
Morphology General Habit
No Evaluada


Use Medicines
Medical uses.
Use Poisons
Use Social
Social uses.

Common Names

Large thorn apple


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