Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Datura innoxia
(downy thorn apple)

Toolbox

Datasheet

Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 21 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Datura innoxia
  • Preferred Common Name
  • downy thorn apple
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • D. innoxia is invasive in the Galapagos islands, New Caledonia, mainland China and Taiwan, and in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa. It is widely naturalized in the tropics and increasingly in temperate...

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report

Pictures

Top of page
PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple); flowering habit. Tel Aviv University train station, Tel Aviv, Israel. January 2002.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionDatura innoxia (downy thorn apple); flowering habit. Tel Aviv University train station, Tel Aviv, Israel. January 2002.
Copyright©RickP (Rick J. Pelleg)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple); flowering habit. Tel Aviv University train station, Tel Aviv, Israel. January 2002.
Flowering habitDatura innoxia (downy thorn apple); flowering habit. Tel Aviv University train station, Tel Aviv, Israel. January 2002.©RickP (Rick J. Pelleg)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple); flowering habit. nr. Hyderabad, India. March 2009.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionDatura innoxia (downy thorn apple); flowering habit. nr. Hyderabad, India. March 2009.
Copyright©J.M. Garg-2009/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple); flowering habit. nr. Hyderabad, India. March 2009.
Flowering habitDatura innoxia (downy thorn apple); flowering habit. nr. Hyderabad, India. March 2009.©J.M. Garg-2009/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple); close-up of flower. nr. Hyderabad, India. March 2009.
TitleFlower
CaptionDatura innoxia (downy thorn apple); close-up of flower. nr. Hyderabad, India. March 2009.
Copyright©J.M. Garg-2009/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple); close-up of flower. nr. Hyderabad, India. March 2009.
FlowerDatura innoxia (downy thorn apple); close-up of flower. nr. Hyderabad, India. March 2009.©J.M. Garg-2009/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple); fruiting habit, with split seedpod. Tel Aviv University train station, Tel Aviv, Israel. December 2005.
TitleFruiting habit
CaptionDatura innoxia (downy thorn apple); fruiting habit, with split seedpod. Tel Aviv University train station, Tel Aviv, Israel. December 2005.
Copyright©RickP (Rick J. Pelleg)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple); fruiting habit, with split seedpod. Tel Aviv University train station, Tel Aviv, Israel. December 2005.
Fruiting habitDatura innoxia (downy thorn apple); fruiting habit, with split seedpod. Tel Aviv University train station, Tel Aviv, Israel. December 2005.©RickP (Rick J. Pelleg)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple); seeds. Rambla del Charco, Águilas, Murcia, Spain. August 2011.
TitleSeeds
CaptionDatura innoxia (downy thorn apple); seeds. Rambla del Charco, Águilas, Murcia, Spain. August 2011.
Copyright©Philmarin/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple); seeds. Rambla del Charco, Águilas, Murcia, Spain. August 2011.
SeedsDatura innoxia (downy thorn apple); seeds. Rambla del Charco, Águilas, Murcia, Spain. August 2011.©Philmarin/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Datura innoxia Mill.

Preferred Common Name

  • downy thorn apple

Other Scientific Names

  • Datura guayaquilensis Kunth
  • Datura meteloides DC. ex Dunal
  • Datura meteloides Dunal
  • Datura velutinosa V.R. Fuentes

International Common Names

  • English: angel's trumpet; hoary thorn-apple; Indian-apple; moonapple; sacred datura; thorn-apple
  • Spanish: cacaito
  • French: datura innocente
  • Arabic: datura; tatoora

Local Common Names

  • Australia: downy thorn-apple; recurved thorn-apple
  • Brazil: datura-européia; trombeta-branca; trombeteira-branca
  • China: mao man tuo luo
  • Korea, Republic of: teoldogmalpul
  • Mexico: toloache
  • South Africa: harige stinkblaar
  • Sweden: mexikansk spikklubba
  • USA: pricklyburr

EPPO code

  • DATIN (Datura innoxia)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

D. innoxia is invasive in the Galapagos islands, New Caledonia, mainland China and Taiwan, and in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa. It is widely naturalized in the tropics and increasingly in temperate Europe and North America. It is one of several invasive Datura species including D. ferox, D. metel and D. stramonium, that achieve high densities and are difficult to control. It is toxic to animals and humans, with all plant parts and seeds containing toxic alkaloids. Several species of Datura have been spread around the world as contaminants of agricultural seed. Seed inspection and certification agencies should be especially vigilant when batches of seed for planting are imported from areas where Datura species are known to occur. D. innoxia also readily escapes from gardens where it is being cultivated. However, timely cultivation or use of herbicides can easily control the species. D. innoxia has been listed as a Declared Weed in South Africa which is prohibited and must be controlled (AGIS, 2007).

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Solanales
  •                         Family: Solanaceae
  •                             Genus: Datura
  •                                 Species: Datura innoxia

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

Datura innoxia Mill. is the accepted name in The Plant List (2013) and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (2014), and is the most commonly used. However, the species name with only a single ‘n’ as D. inoxia is also widely used, e.g. by USDA-ARS (2014), Missouri Botanic Garden (2014), PIER (2014). D. innoxia is the spelling used in this datasheet, with more than 600 records in CAB Direct whereas there are less than 100 for D. inoxia, but this difference in spelling should be taken into consideration when searching the literature.

Two subspecies are described by Missouri Botanic Garden (2014), subsp. quinquecuspidata (Torr.) A.S. Barclay and subsp. lanosa F.A. Barkley. Attention is required with synonymy, as D. fastuosa L. is sometimes reported as a synonym for D. innoxia, but this is incorrect; D. fastuosa is a synonym of D. metel L. (USDA-ARS, 2014). Full descriptions are given by Haegi (1976) of the wild species D. innoxia, D. stramonium, D. ferox, D. leichhardtii, and D. wrightii, and of the cultivated species, D. metel.

D. innoxia is the sister taxon of D. metel next to which is D. wrightii, with D. lanosa being the basal taxon of this group. The combination of genetic and cladistic data indicates that D. innoxia is the most probable progenitor of D. metel (Luna-Cavazos et al., 2009). These are all long-lived, tuberous rooted perennials, in contrast to other species that are tap-rooted annuals.

Phylogenetic analyses by Bye and Sosa (2013) divided species of Datura into three sections, Ceratocaulis, Datura, and Dutra, based upon the position and type of the fruit. The monophyly of the Datura clade was confirmed with two genera, Datura containing herbaceous species and Brugmansia with woody species. The Datura clade consists of two distinct lineages; D. ceratocaula corresponding to the monospecific section Ceratocaulis, and a lineage that gives rise to the other species in a large clade with two groups that do not correspond to the conventional classification of the genus. Species with regularly dehiscent capsular fruits are present in both groups, whereas species with irregularly dehiscent capsules are found only in one group. As section Dutra is polyphyletic, realignment of species within the two traditional sections is suggested: section Datura containing D. arenicola, D. discolor, D. ferox, D. quercifolia, D. kymatocarpa, D. leichhardtii, and D. stramonium; and section Dutra containing D. inoxia, D. lanosa, D. metel, D. reburra, and D. wrightii. The seed margin clearly distinguishes these sections, rather than the combination of fruit position and dehiscence which has been used previously (Bye and Sosa, 2013).

Many common names are applied and misapplied in English. Several species of Datura (and Brugmansia) are known as angel’s trumpet, referring to the distinctive flowers, thorn apple, referring to the spiked fruit, or jimsonweed in North America. However, different species tend to take specific epithets, such as downy thorn, moonapple and others. The genus name Datura is from the Bengali name ‘dhatura’.

Description

Top of page

D. innoxia is a stout, annual to perennial herb to up to 1 m high, with a spreading crown about 2 m in diameter. Roots may be tuberous. Stems and leaves tomentose, covered with short and soft greyish hairs that give the whole plant a greyish appearance. Mature leaves broadly ovate, the lamina up to 20 cm long, almost entire, slightly sinuate, or irregularly lobed towards base, with conspicuous pinnate venation alternately arranged along the stem. D. innoxia bears white tubular (trumpet) flowers that have green veins, 12-19 cm long, with stigmas well above the anthers. Some people find the flowers fragrant at night, when the plant is blooming. Calyx 5-11 cm long, 3-6-lobed; lobes 13-20 mm long, sometimes incompletely separated. Corolla 12-19 cm long, white with green veins; limb undulate, appearing 10-lobed, alternate lobes broadly triangular or ending in a slender point 5-10 mm long. Stamens not exserted; anthers 8-10 mm long. Style 10-14 cm long; stigma well below anthers. The fruit is a globose or ovoid spiny capsule with numerous slender spines, about 3-5 cm in diameter, deflexed, spiny; spines numerous, slender, sharp, all about equal in length, to 10 mm long; persistent base of calyx to 20 mm long, very prominent. Capsule split when ripe, releasing brown seeds, 4-5 mm long (adapted from PIER, 2014).

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Biennial
Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated

Distribution

Top of page

D. innoxia is native to the tropical and subtropical Americas, from southwestern USA and Mexico, through Central America to northern and western South America, to Peru, and east to Bolivia and Paraguay (USDA-ARS, 2015). Whereas USDA-ARS (2015) noted records from the Caribbean as being possibly naturalized, other sources accept that the species is also native to Caribbean islands.

D. innoxia has been widely introduced and is found throughout the tropics. It is invasive in Namibia (Boyer and Boyer, 1989) and also in temperate areas where introduced as an ornamental but has since naturalized. D. innoxia has spread over Croatia since the early 1980s, occurring in large numbers regenerating from seeds and roots, with past and new localities described by Franjic and Trinajstic (1996). Vukovic et al. (2010) recorded it as invasive but of low occurrence. In the USA it is native only to Texas (USDA-ARS, 2014), but is also recorded in the southwestern states, Arkansas and in the northeast USA as far as Ontario and Quebec, Canada (USDA-NRCS, 2014).

D. innoxia was noted as an invasive alien species in Namibia by Boyer and Boyer (1989) but they observed that it offered less of a threat to native vegetation as compared to Prosopis spp., Nicotiana glauca and Ricinus communis, and that control of these latter species should take priority. Two decades later the situation did not appear to have altered greatly, as Shapaka et al. (2008) identified D. innoxia as one of eight invasive species and active management was recommended, but it was of lower priority as compared to the others. See also Katjirua (2008).

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AfghanistanPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
BahrainAl-Eisawi, 2001
ChinaPresentIntroduced Invasive eFloras, 2014; PIER, 2014
-HebeiPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
-HenanPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
-HubeiPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
-JiangsuPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
-ShandongPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
-TibetPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
-XinjiangPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015
IsraelPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
JapanPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
KazakhstanPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
PakistanPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
Saudi ArabiaPresentIntroducedChaudhary and Akram, 1987
YemenPresentIntroducedChaudhary and Revri, 1983

Africa

AlgeriaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
Burkina FasoPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
CameroonPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
Cape VerdePresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
ChadPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
Côte d'IvoirePresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
DjiboutiPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
EgyptPresentIntroducedBoulos and El-Hadidi, 1984
EthiopiaPresentIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2014; Witt and Luke, 2017
GhanaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
GuineaPresentHepper, 1963
KenyaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
MadagascarPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
MaliPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
MauritaniaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
MoroccoPresentIntroducedEl-Bazaoui et al., 2012
NamibiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Wells et al., 1986; Boyer and Boyer, 1989; Shapaka et al., 2008
NigerPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
NigeriaPresentIntroducedHepper, 1963
SenegalPresentIntroducedHepper, 1963
SomaliaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
South AfricaPresentIntroduced Invasive Wells et al., 1986; Henderson, 2001; AGIS, 2007Declared weed
SudanPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
TogoPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014

North America

CanadaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
-OntarioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-QuebecPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
MexicoPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2014
USAPresentGBIF, 2014
-ArizonaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-IllinoisPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-IndianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-MarylandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-MassachusettsPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-New MexicoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-New YorkPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-TexasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2014

Central America and Caribbean

AnguillaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
Antigua and BarbudaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
BahamasPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
BarbadosPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
CubaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
DominicaPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
Dominican RepublicPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
GuadeloupePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
GuatemalaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
HaitiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
HondurasPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
JamaicaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
MartiniquePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
Puerto RicoPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2014
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2014
United States Virgin IslandsPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2014

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
BrazilPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
-BahiaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
-PernambucoPresentIntroducedFlora Brasil do, 2020
ColombiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2014
EcuadorPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2014
ParaguayPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2014
PeruPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2014
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2014

Europe

AustriaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
BelgiumPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
BulgariaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
CroatiaPresentIntroducedFranjic and Trinajstic, 1996; Vukovic et al., 2010
DenmarkPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
FinlandPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
FrancePresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2014
GermanyPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
GreecePresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
HungaryPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
ItalyPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2014
NorwayPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
PolandPresentIntroducedMarciniak and Sikorski, 1972
PortugalPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2014
RomaniaPresentIntroducedBadea and Raicu, 1983
Russian FederationPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
SpainPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2014
SwedenPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
UKPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014
UkrainePresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014

Oceania

AustraliaWidespreadIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
-South AustraliaPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
-TasmaniaPresentIntroducedParsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014

Risk of Introduction

Top of page

Several species of Datura have been spread around the world as contaminants of agricultural seed. Seed inspection and certification agencies should be especially vigilant when batches of seed for planting are imported from areas where Datura species are known to occur. D. stramonium was introduced into parts of Victoria, Australia, in contaminated safflower seed, and contaminated soyabeans have resulted in new infestations in Norway on several occasions. It is particularly difficult to separate from sorghum seed which is of a similar size (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992). Legislation in Queensland, Australia, prohibits the sale of crop seed which is contaminated by D. ferox or D. stramonium (Genn, 1987). D. innoxia was also one of five species recommended for eradication from Isabella Island in the Galapagos archipelago along with the closely-related D. metal (Guézou et al., 2007). It is declared as category 1, prohibited weed in South Africa because of its aggressive growth habit (AGIS, 2007). PIER (2014) gives a very high risk assessment score of 21 for this species in the Pacific region.

Habitat

Top of page

D. innoxia grows naturally in disturbed areas such as eroded areas, uncultivated fields, vacant lots, overgrazed pastures and rangeland, roadsides, abandoned roadbeds, and fencerows. Disturbance and reduced competition appear to be required for D. innoxia to become established (PIER, 2014). In China it is found growing near villages and on roadsides but is also cultivated (PIER, 2014).

Habitat List

Top of page
CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

Top of page

Genetics

A single ploidy level of 2n = 24 for D. innoxia in Mexico was reported by Palominl et al. (1988) and many others. However, colchicine-induced tetraploids have been produced which exceeded the diploids in atropine and scopolamine content and showed better adaptability (Dzhurmanski and Yankulov, 1981). Different levels of ploidy (2n, 4n, 6n) was reported by Badea and Raicu (1983), and haploid, diploid, triploid, tetraploid and hexaploid cytotypes by Gupta et al. (1984).

Reproductive Biology

Reproductive biology of D. innoxia is described in Henderson (2001) and Parsons and Cuthbertson (1992). Datura species, including D. innoxia, may flower overnight and be pollinated by moths. Hummingbirds sometimes also visit the flowers but are affected by the alkaloids in the nectar and must limit their consumption, whereas honeybees are apparently unaffected.

Physiology and Phenology

In the tropics, D. innoxia is a perennial species, but it will behave as an annual in temperate regions. D. innoxia can flower and fruit throughout the year in some environments but only from July to September in India (Parrotta 2001) and September through November in Nicaragua (Stevens et al., 2001). Germination in D. innoxia is slow, poor and variable due to the presence of an inhibitor in the seed coat (Singh, 1974).

Environmental Requirements

D. innoxia grows in a wide variety of tropic and temperate climates. It is found on a wide variety of soils but prefers well-drained soils, on both igneous and sedimentary parent materials. In Puerto Rico, the species grows naturally in areas with 750-1000 mm mean annual precipitation, and from near sea level up to 900 m altitude (Stevens et al., 2001). An after-ripening period of 5-11 months may be required (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992) In a study of the effects of temperature and light on germination, maximum germination was obtained under continuous light at alternating temperatures of 20 and 30°C. Germination was reduced under continuous darkness (Barakat et al., 2013).

Climate

Top of page
ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Tolerated > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Tolerated Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Rainfall

Top of page
ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration05number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall5001500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

A number of diseases have been reported on D. innoxia, including Sclerotium root rot (Thakur and Sastri, 1970), P. nicotianae (reported for the first time in India) (Sattar et al., 1982), Alternaria crassa leaf spot (Grzybowska and Kapala, 1976) and other Alternaria blight (Janardhanan and Husain, 1973). Various viruses have been reported (Garga, 1958), including leaf curl disease (Marwal et al., 2012), virus wilt (Kovachevski, 1974), figwort mosaic virus (Shepherd et al., 1987), and cucumber mosaic virus (Raj et al., 1999). D. innoxia is also a host of the nematode, Xanthomonas vesicatoria (Raj and Moniz, 1975).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page

Natural Dispersal

Datura species are thought to spread solely by seed which it produces in large numbers. Both seed capsules and seeds float on water, providing an effective means of dispersal. However, spread by broken stem fragments may also be a minor means of dispersal.

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

The spiny capsule can become attached to the fur of animals, which split open and disperse the seed.

Accidental Introduction

In New Zealand, Datura seeds have been reported to be mainly spread by contamination of agricultural seeds, or by machinery and vehicles, and it is believed to have originated from imported birdseed (Webb et al., 1988). D. innoxia readily escapes from gardens where it is being cultivated.

Intentional Introduction

As ornamental plants, many Datura species have been intentionally introduced around the world, and continue to be grown as such, especially in Europe, North America and China.

Pathway Vectors

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Floating vegetation and debris Yes
Land vehicles Yes
Livestock Yes
Machinery and equipment Yes
Water Yes

Plant Trade

Top of page
Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
True seeds (inc. grain)

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Environment (generally) Negative
Human health Negative

Economic Impact

Top of page

No economic purpose for the plant has been reported. In some countries it is prohibited to buy, sell or cultivate Datura plants (Henderson, 2001). D. innoxia commonly occurs in a range of crops, including maize, groundnuts, sorghum and temperate cereals, where it may have competitive and allelopathic affects; however, no estimates of economic loss are available.

Environmental Impact

Top of page

Allelopathic effects of D. innoxia have beenidentified (Hussain et al., 1979). D. innoxia can be found in two national parks in Namibia, Namib Naukluft Park and Daan Viljoen Game Park (Boyer and Boyer, 1989; Shapaka et al., 2008) and in Medvednica Nature Park in Croatia (Vukovic et al., 2010).

Social Impact

Top of page

If ingested by humans and other animals (including livestock and pets) it can cause fatalities, as all parts of Datura plants are poisonous (Henderson, 2001).

D. innoxia belongs to the family of Solanaceae and contains two main toxic alkaloids, atropine and scopolamine. Seven individuals were admitted to hospital in Athens with an anticholinergic syndrome after eating cooked vegetables (blites, members of Chenopodiaceae), but among the vegetables there was also D. innoxia, which has a similar appearance to blites (Papoutsis et al., 2010). Goetz et al. (2003) report the clinical findings in 14 adolescents in Ohio, USA who became ill after intentional ingestion of toxic seeds identified as D. innoxia. Poisoning was also reported (Marciniak and Sikorski, 1972) in a family who had eaten honey from an apiary near a plantation of D. innoxia and D. stramonium, with scopolamine and hyoscine alkaloids detected in the honey and in the urine of the patients.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Negatively impacts animal health
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid growth
  • Produces spines, thorns or burrs
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally illegally
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Uses

Top of page

Species of Datura have been used in many parts of the world as narcotics, constituents of folk remedies and shamanistic rituals (Schultes and Hofmann. 1992), and as a source of atropine, hyoscamine and hyoscine alkaloids for pharmacological use in both human and veterinary medicine (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962). D. innoxia has been used to treat impotence, asthma, and diarrhoea, as an analgesic, to control fever, to kill parasites, and as a drug for criminal purposes (Parrotta 2001). There has also been considerable interest in the use of extracts of Datura species as botanical pesticides (Oduor–Owino, 1993). El-Bazaoui et al. (2012) identified 53 alkaloids in the roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seeds of D. innoxia – 17 reported for the first time for this species. Also, alkaloid contents for D. innoxia were reported to be: leaves 0.39%, roots 0.54%, and seeds 0.44% (Kosova and Chladek, 1957).

Uses List

Top of page

Drugs, stimulants, social uses

  • Hallucinogen
  • Narcotic
  • Psychoactive

General

  • Ornamental

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page

Datura species are annual, whereas members of the closely related genus Brugmansia are perennials. However, D. innoxia can be confused with species of both genera, bearing similarly distinctive flowers and fruit. Species of both genera have a trumpet shaped flowers, but those of Brugmansia point downwards with a sweet fragrance, with Datura flowers often pointing upward with spicy or lemony fragrance.

D. innoxia is especially misidentified with other invasive Datura species, including D. ferox, common thornapple (D. stramonium L.), downy thornapple (D. inoxia Mill. = D. innoxia Mill.), hoary thornapple (D. metel L.) and hairy thornapple (D. wrightii Rogel). D.stramonium and D.ferox produce erect fruit capsules on straight stalks with black to greyish seeds, whereas fruit capsules of D. leichhardtii, D. metel, D. inoxia, D. wrightii appear on curved stalks with brown to yellow seeds.

Morphological comparisons between D. innoxia and D. metel showed that D. innoxia could be distinguished by much greater plant height, deeper leaf indentations, larger capsules, a wider corolla (when slit on one edge and rolled out flat), a wider calyx, and heavier and sturdier roots (Kosova and Chladek, 1957). D. innoxia is also reported to be similar to D. metel in habit, but D. innoxia is differentiated by its pubescent whereas D. metel is glabrous.

Parsons and Cuthbertson (1992) distinguish D. innoxia from most other weedy Datura species by the combination of curved seed-stalk, brown to yellow seeds, and hairy leaves; and from D. wrightii by its erect, glandular hairs and pure whiter flowers (lavender-tinged in D. wrightii).

Full descriptions are given by Haegi (1976) of the wild species D. inoxia, D. stramonium, D. ferox, D. leichhardtii, and D. wrightii, and of the cultivated species, D. metel.

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Control

Physical/mechanical control

Isolated plants should be hand-pulled before they set seed, whereas larger areas of infestation are controlled by cultivation when weeds are in the seedling stage. Cultivation becomes less effective as plants mature – stems become woodier and roots may not become completely severed. Seedlings emerge over a long period of time so repeated cultivations may be necessary to reduce the level of infestation (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992). However, tillage may promote seed survival as seeds decay more rapidly on the soil surface than when buried, and there is greater loss of seed to predators under no-till than conventional tillage systems.

Chemical control

D. innoxia can be controlled with 2,4-D in the seedling stage and young growth stages, but become resistant as they mature (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 2001). Other non-selective herbicides include atrazine, diquat, paraquat and glyphosate. The following herbicides are used in specific crops: acifluorfen and bentazone in soybeans and peanuts; 2,4-DB in certain varieties of peanuts; dicamba in grain sorghum and maize; metolachlor in maize; and picloram + 2,4-D in summer cereals (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 2001).

References

Top of page

AGIS, 2007. Agricultural Geo-Referenced Information System. http://www.agis.agric.za

Al-Eisawi DM, 2001. Notes on the flora of Bahrain: new families, genera and species to the flora of Bahrain. Arab Gulf Journal of Scientific Research, 19(1):1-6

Badea E, Raicu P, 1983. Experimental androgenesis in Datura innoxia of plants with different levels of ploidy (2n, 4n, 6n). Revue Roumaine de Biologie, Biologie Végétale, 28(1):59-61

Barakat NAM, Kabeil HF, Hegazy AK, Singer NS, 2013. Synergetic action of light and temperature on seed germination of some solanaceae members. Journal of Stress Physiology & Biochemistry, 9(4):85-100. http://www.jspb.ru/issues/2013/N4/JSPB_2013_4_85-100.pdf

Boulos L, El-Hadidi MN, 1984. The Weed Flora of Egypt. Cairo, Egypt: The American University in Cairo Press

Boyer DC, Boyer HJ, 1989. The status of alien invasive plants in the major rivers of the Namib Naukluft Park. Madoqua, 16(1):51-58

Bye R, Sosa V, 2013. Molecular phylogeny of the jimsonweed genus Datura (Solanaceae). Systematic Botany, 38(3):818-829. http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1600/036364413X670278

Cakovic D, Stesevic D, Vuksanovic S, Tan K, 2014. Colchicum cupanii Guss. subsp. glossophyllum (Heldr.) Rouy, datura innoxia Mill. and Eclipta prostrata (L.) L., new floristic records in Montenegro and western Balkan. Acta Botanica Croatica, 73(1):255-265. http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=casopis&id_casopis=83

Chaudhary SA, Akram M, 1987. Weeds of Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia: National Herbarium, Regional Agriculture and Water Research Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Water

Chaudhary SA, Revri R, 1983. Weeds of North Yemen. Eschborn, Germany: Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) Gmbh

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014. Australia's virtual herbarium, Australia. http://avh.ala.org.au

Dzhurmanski G (Dzhourmanski G), Yankulov I (Yankoulov Y), 1981. Changes in green matter yield and alkaloid content in diploid and tetraploid forms of Datura innoxia with different sowing dates. Rasteniev"dni Nauki, 18(1):53-63

eFloras, 2014. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

El-Bazaoui A, Bellimam MA, Soulaymani A, 2012. Tropane alkaloids of Datura innoxia from Morocco. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung. Section C, Biosciences, 67(1/2):8-14. http://znaturforsch.com/ac/v67c/67c0008.pdf

Flora Brasil do, 2020. Flora do Brasil 2020. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/reflora/listaBrasil/PrincipalUC/PrincipalUC.do;jsessionid=C78A2496A6ECEBBFE86739EDA1DB44A5#CondicaoTaxonCP

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Franjic J, Trinajstic I, 1996. Current state of the distribution of the species Datura inoxia Miller (Solanaceae) in Croatia. (Sadasnje stanje rasprostranjenosti vrste Datura inoxia Miller (Solanaceae) u Hrvatskoj.) Fragmenta Phytomedica et Herbologica, 24(2):5-9

GARGA RP, 1958. Studies on virus diseases of plants in Madhya Pradesh II. A new strain of Datura virus 3. Indian Phytopathology, 11(2):133-136 pp

GBIF, 2014. GBIF data portal. Copenhagen, Denmark: Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). http://data.gbif.org

Genn DJ, 1987. Legislation to control weed spread. Queensland Agricultural Journal, 113(6):365-367

Goetz R, Siegel E, Scaglione J, Belson M, Patel M, 2003. Suspected moonflower intoxication - Ohio, 2002. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 52(33):788, 790-791

Grzybowska T, Kapala H, 1976. Leaf spot of Datura inoxia Mill. caused by Alternaria crassa (Sacc.) Rands. and its control. (Plamistosc lisci bielunia indianskiego (Datura inoxia Mill.) powodowana przez Alternaria crassa (Sacc.) Rands. i proby jej zwalczania.) Herba Pol, 22(2):172-184

Guézou A, Pozo P, Buddenhagen C, 2007. Preventing establishment: an inventory of introduced plants in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island, Galapagos. PLos One, No.October:e1042. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0001042

Gupta PP, Prakash D, Chowdhury AR, 1984. Effect of ploidy variation on amino acid composition of Datura innoxia (Solanaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 145(3/4):165-168

Haegi L, 1976. Taxonomic account of Datura L. (Solanaceae) in Australia with a note on Brugmansia Pers. Australian Journal of Botany, 24(3):415-435

Henderson L, 2001. Alien Weeds and Invasive Plants. Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12. Cape Town, South Africa: Paarl Printers

Hepper FN, 1963. Flora of West Tropical Africa Volume 2. London, UK: Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations

Hussain F, Mubarak B, Imtiaz-ul-Haq, Naqvi HH, 1979. Allelopathic effects of Datura innoxia Mill. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 11(2):141-153

Janardhanan KK, Husain A, 1973. A new Alternaria blight of Datura innoxia Mill. Indian Phytopathology, 25(3):461-463

Katjirua J, 2008. The distribution, abundance and reproductive status of the invasive alien plant., Namibia: University of Namibia. http://wwwisis.unam.na/theses/katjirua2008.pdf

Kosova V, Chladek M, 1957. A pharma-cognostic study of Datura metel and D. inoxia. (Eine pharmakognostische Studie uber Datura metel L. und D. inoxia Mill.) Pharmazie, 12:620-7

Kovachevski I, 1974. Virus wilt of thorn-apple in Bulgaria. (Virusno uvyakhvane na tatula v B"lgariya.) Rasteniev"dni Nauki, 11(6):128-136

Luna-Cavazos M, Bye R, Jiao MeiJun, 2009. The origin of Datura metel (Solanaceae): genetic and phylogenetic evidence. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 56(2):263-275. http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=102893

Marciniak J, Sikorski M, 1972. Poisoning by alkaloids of Datura stramonium and D. inoxia after ingestion of honey. (Zatriecie alkaloidami bielunia indianskiego i bielunia dziedzierzawy po spozyciu miodu pszczelego.) Polski Tygodnik Lelarski, 27(26):1002-1003

Marwal A, Sahu A, Prajapat R, Choudhary DK, Gaur RK, 2012. First report of association of a begomovirus with the leaf curl disease of a common weed, Datura inoxia. Indian Journal of Virology, 23(1):83-84. http://www.springerlink.com/content/n89871511367676h/

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2014. Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

Oduor-Owino P, 1993. Effects of aldicarb, Datura stramonium, Datura metel and Tagetes minuta on the pathogenicity of root-knot nematodes in Kenya. Crop Protection, 12(4):315-317; 12 ref

Palomino G, Viveros R, Bye RA Jr, 1988. Cytology of five Mexican species of Datura L. (Solanaceae). Southwestern Naturalist, 33(1):85-90

Papoutsis I, Nikolaou P, Athanaselis S, Stefanidou M, Pistos C, Spiliopoulou C, Maravelias C, 2010. Mass intoxication with Datura innoxia - case series and confirmation by analytical toxicology. Clinical Toxicology, 48(2):143-145. http://informahealthcare.com/ctx

Parrotta JA, 2001. Healing plants of peninsular India [ed. by Parrotta, J. A.]. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing, xxi + 917 pp

Parrotta JA, 2001. Healing Plants of Pennisular India. Wallingford, UK: CAB International

Parsons WT, Cuthbertson EG, 1992. Noxious Weeds of Australia. Melbourne, Australia: Inkata Press, 692 pp

Parsons WT, Cuthbertson EG, 2001. Noxious Weeds of Australia. Collingwood, Australia: CSIRO Publishing, 698 pp

PIER, 2014. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Raj H, Moniz L, 1975. Datura innoxia Mill, a new host of Xanthomonas vesicatoria Dowson in India. Biovigyanam, 1(1):17-19

Raj SK, Srivastava A, Chandra G, Singh BP, 1999. Natural occurrence of cucumber mosaic cucumovirus in Datura innoxia in India. Bulletin OEPP, 29(4):455-457

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2014. Flora Europaea. Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/FE/fe.html

Sattar A, Khan AJ, Alam M, Husain A, 1982. Phytophthora leaf blight disease of Datura innoxia. Indian Phytopathology, 35(1):162

Schultes RE, Hofmann A, 1992. Plants of the Gods. Healing Plants Press, Rochester, USA. Rochester, USA: Healing Plants Press, 192

Shapaka TN, Cunningham PL, Joubert DF, 2008. Invasive alien plants in the Daan Viljoen Game Park. Dinteria, No.30:19-32

Shepherd FJ, Richins RD, Duffus JE, Handley MK, 1987. Figwort mosaic virus: properties of the virus and its adaption to a new host. Phytopathology, 77(12):1668-1673

Singh C, 1974. Seed germination in Datura innoxia Mill. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 12(3):291

Smith RA, 1996. Downy thornapple. Agnote (Darwin), No. 656. Darwin, Australia: Department of Industries and Fisheries, Northern Territory, 2 pp

Stevens RD, Ulloa C, Pool A, Montiel OM, 2001. Flora of Nicaragua. (Flora de Nicaragua.) Monographs in Systematic Botany, 85(3). 911-2666

Thakur RN, Sastri KSM, 1970. Studies on Sclerotium root rot of Datura innoxia Mill. Labdev Journal of Science and Technology, 8-B(2):115-116

The Plant List, 2013. The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. Version 1.1. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://www.theplantlist.org

USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2014. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Vukovic N, Bernardic A, Nikolic T, Hrsak V, Plazibat M, Jelaska SD, 2010. Analysis and distributional patterns of the invasive flora in a protected mountain area - a case study of Medvednica Nature Park (Croatia). Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae, 79(4):285-294

Watt JM, Breyer-Brandwijk MG, 1962. The medicinal and poisonous plants of southern and eastern Africa. 2nd ed. (rev.) 1962. Edinburgh, UK: E.& S. Livingstone Ltd

Webb CJ, Sykes WR, Garnock-Jones PJ, 1988. Flora of New Zealand Volume IV. Naturalised Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Christchurch, New Zealand: DSIR Botany Division, 1365 pp. http://floraseries.landcareresearch.co.nz/pages/Book.aspx?fileName=Flora%204.xml

Wells MJ, Balsinhas AA, Joffe H, Engelbrecht VM, Harding G, Stirton CH, 1986. A catalogue of problem plants in South Africa. Memoirs of the botanical survey of South Africa, 53. Pretoria, South Africa: Botanical Research Institute

Witt, A., Luke, Q., 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa, [ed. by Witt, A., Luke, Q.]. Wallingford, UK: CABI.vi + 601 pp. http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158959 doi:10.1079/9781786392145.0000

Links to Websites

Top of page
WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Contributors

Top of page

12/11/2014 Original text by:

Nick Pasiecznik, Consultant, France

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map