Datura metaloides - Thorn Apple

Datura metaloides

Datura metaloides is a perennial herb that grows to 3½ feet tall with a spread of 4 to 5 feet in 5 gallon pots. It makes a great patio plant but it tends to get weedy if the immature seedpods are not picked of. The Thorn Apple is hardy in zone 7. It is a native of the southwest US and northern Mexico. Poisonous!! This is a relative of D. stramonium, jimsonweed.

Blooming Time: Summer. The white trumpet shaped blooms are 5 inches across and 8 inches long, very fragrant. The flowers open in the early evening and last till about mid-morning.

Culture: Datura metaloides need full sun to partial shade. In the greenhouse we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts loam to 1 part peat moss to 1 part sand. The plant is very drought tolerant, but for optimum growth water the plant at least twice a week. The plant responds well to fertilizer application every 2 weeks during the blooming season. Trimming may be needed to keep a desired form. In the winter months, keep the plant on the dry side or let it go dormant.

Propagation: Datura metaloides is easily propagated from seed.

Folklore: See Erowid Datura Vaults for information about economic, cultural and legal aspects.

Datura metaloides was featured as Plant of the Week August 4-10, 2000.

Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:


Search the plant archive or submit a search here:

Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2017 All rights reserved.