Datura ferox L.

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Datura ferox

Photo: Bart Wursten
Maleme Dam camp

Datura ferox

Photo: Bart Wursten
Maleme Dam camp

Datura ferox

Photo: Bart Wursten
Maleme Dam camp

Datura ferox

Photo: Bart Wursten
Maleme Dam camp

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Stramonium ferox Boccone
Common names: Large thorn apple (English)
Status: Introduced
Erect, sometimes dichotomously branched annual herb, 30-120 cm. Leaves alternate, unpleasantly scented when crushed, ovate to rhombic-ovate, up to 16 × 12 cm, thinly textured, almost hairless to pubescent, particularly near the base; base often decurrent into the petiole; margin with almost lobe-sized triangular teeth. Flowers solitary in the forks of the branches or axillary. Calyx long and tube-like, up to 3.5 cm long, 5-angled with ovate to triangular-lanceolate unequal apical lobes, 2.5-7 mm long. Corolla white to pale yellowish, rarely pale blue, 4-7 cm long, slightly 5-lobed with narrow acuminate tips. Fruit erect, ovoid-ellipsoid, up to 8 × 6 cm (including spines), covered in robust unequal, narrowly conical spines, up to 2.5 cm long, purple-green to brownish when ripe, regularly dehiscent. All parts of the plant are poisonous.
Derivation of specific name: ferox: very prickly, ferocious (perhaps referring to the large spines on the fruit)
Habitat: A weed of cultivated and disturbed areas.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Oct - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Native to southern North America. Now an almost cosmopolitan weed.
Zimbabwe distribution: W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Saturday 29 March 2008

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 13.

Gonçalves, A.E. (2005). Solanaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(4) Pages 31 - 32. (Includes a picture).

Maroyi, A. (2006). Preliminary checklist of introduced and naturalized plants in Zimbabwe. Kirkia 18(2) Page 243.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 105.


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Other sources of information about Datura ferox:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Datura ferox
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Datura ferox

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Datura ferox
African Plant Database: Datura ferox
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Datura ferox
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Datura ferox
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Datura ferox
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Datura ferox
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Datura ferox
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Datura ferox
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Datura ferox
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Datura ferox
Ispot Southern Africa: Datura ferox
JSTOR Plant Science: Datura ferox
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Datura ferox
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Datura ferox
The Plant List (version 1.1): Datura ferox
Tropicos: Datura ferox

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-18

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2018). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Datura ferox.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=150810, retrieved 23 January 2018

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