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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 14 | Solanaceae | Datura

1. Datura ceratocaula Ortega, Nov. Pl. Descr. Dec. 11. 1797.

Latin or Mexican thorn-apple, tornaloca

Herbs annual, to 8 dm. Stems glabrous. Leaf blades narrowly ovate to lanceolate, to 15 × 8 cm, margins sinuate to pinnately lobed, abaxial surface tomen­tose, adaxial surface glabrous. Flowers: calyx glabrous, tube split along 1 side, appearing spathe-like and with poorly defined unequal teeth; corolla white with red-purple hues, trumpet-shaped surface usually waxy, 11.5–20 cm, acuminate lobes alternating with smaller lobules. Capsules pendent, irregularly dehiscent, pericarp fleshy, glabrous, without prickles or tubercles; calyx remnant not accrescent. Seeds black, 3.5–5 mm, convex marginal ridge absent, testa finely pitted; caruncle present. 2n = 24.

Flowering Jul–Sep. Seasonal ponds, livestock ponds, ditches, desert grassland-shrublands; 1300–1400 m; introduced; N.Mex.; Mexico.

The caruncle of Datura ceratocaula usually does not detach from the seed (as it does in the case of seeds of other species), and swells and becomes sticky when wetted. In this way, the seeds are adapted to dispersal by aquatic birds and livestock. In New Mexico, D. ceratocaula is known only from Hildago County.


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