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Datura metel - L.

Common Name Thorn Apple, Angel's Trumpet, Hindu Datura, Horn of Plenty, Downy Thorn Apple
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards All members of this genus contain narcotics and are very poisonous, even in small doses[147, 200].
Habitats Waste places, river sands etc in sunny positions[147, 192]
Range E. Asia - S. China, India. Naturalized in the Mediterranean.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Datura metel Thorn Apple, Angel


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Datura_metel_Blanco1.35.jpg
Datura metel Thorn Apple, Angel

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Summary

Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Datura metel is a ANNUAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

D. alba. Nees. D. fastuosa. L.

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Drink.

The leaves and roots are bruised, mixed with water and left to stand for several hours. The liquid is then drawn off and drunk. This is a highly narcotic drink, producing a stupefying effect that it is not easy to remove[2]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity[K].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anaesthetic;  Anodyne;  Antiasthmatic;  Antispasmodic;  Antitussive;  Hallucinogenic;  Hypnotic;  Mydriatic.


The whole plant, but especially the leaves and seed, is anaesthetic, anodyne, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, antitussive, bronchodilator, hallucinogenic, hypnotic and mydriatic[147, 192, 218]. It has a wide range of applications in India, including in the treatment of epilepsy, hysteria, insanity, heart diseases, fever with catarrh, diarrhoea, skin diseases etc[192, 240]. A poultice of the crushed leaves is used to relieve pain[283]. In China, the plant is used in the treatment of asthma[218]. In Vietnam, the dried flowers and leaves are cut into small chips and used in antiasthmatic cigarettes[283]. Great caution is advised in the use of this plant since excess doses cause hallucinations, severe intoxication and death. The toxic dose is very close to the medicinal dose so this plant should only be used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. See also the notes above on toxicity. The plant contains the alkaloids hyoscyamine, hyoscine and atropine[240]. Atropine dilates the pupils and is used in eye surgery[222]. Total alkaloid content of the leaves is 0.426%, which is mainly atropine[240]. The seeds contain 0.426% alkaloids, which is mainly hyoscyamine[240]. The roots contain 0.35% hyoscyamine[240]. An extract of the flowers is used as an anaesthetic - 3 - 5g applied orally produces a general anaesthesia within 5 minutes and lasting 5 - 6 hours[218].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Specimen. Prefers a rich light sandy soil and an open sunny position[200]. Grows best in a fertile calcareous soil[200]. This species is extremely susceptible to the various viruses that afflict the potato family (Solanaceae), it can act as a centre of infection so should not be grown near potatoes or tomatoes[200]. There are a number of named varieties selected for their ornamental value[200]. The flowers have an exotic fragrance, though the bruised leaves have an unpleasant smell[245]. This species is closely related to D. innoxia[200]. Special Features:Not North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Fragrant flowers.

Propagation

Sow the seed in individual pots in early spring in a greenhouse[200]. Put 3 or 4 seeds in each pot and thin if necessary to the best plant. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 15°c. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Especially in areas with hot summers, it is worthwhile trying a sowing outdoors in situ in mid to late spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Datura inoxiaDowny Thorn Apple, Pricklyburr13
Datura quercifoliaOak Leaf Datura, Chinese thorn-apple13
Datura stramoniumThorn Apple, Jimsonweed, Jamestown Weed04

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Candace   Mon Sep 17 2007

Hello! I have 2 of these plants volunteering vigorously near my garden and since they have not been watered for about 5 months and are flowering very happily I am wondering if anyone knows if they have a permaculture use....some way that they help the garden or help the soil since they are NO work at all here!

Dr Arshad Javaid   Sun Aug 3 2008

Very useful information are given in this article. Dr Arshad Javaid PAKISTAN

rosamond h Lonwes   Mon Oct 26 2009

I have a datura where the blooms (white) and upright and very fragrant.....is this dat/metel?

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Subject : Datura metel  
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