YASIN J. NASIR
Datura tatula L.
Plant 60-120 cm or more tall, branched, pubescent; the branches often purplish. Leaves 8-17 x 4-13 cm, ovate or broadly so, sinuately dentate, minutely puberulose, cuneate. Petiole 2-5 cm long. Calyx 3.5-5.5 cm long, tubular, 5-dentate, puberulous, persistent. Lobes 6-9 mm long, strongly reflexed in fruit, apiculate. Corolla 7-10 cm long, white or purplish suffused; limb up to 8 cm broad. shallowy 5-lobed, with the lobes, ± triangular-acuminate. Anthers ± 5 mm long, with the lobes narrow oblong, usually white. Capsule erect, 3-4 cm long, ovoid, spiny and densely pubescent, splitting by 4 valves; spines up to 5 mm long. Seeds 3 mm long, reniform, reticulate-foveolate, black.
Fl. Per.: June-July.
Type: Described from American, Hort. Cliff. 55/1 (BM).
Distribution: In most temperate and subtropical regions of both the hemispheres.
The ‘thorn apple’ is a noxious weed found along roadsides and waste places from 914-2286 m. The plant parts, as in Atropa contain alkaloids as hyoscyamine, which have a powerful narcotic effect. The plant parts are also medicinal; being used in fevers, for worms, skin diseases, boils and indigestion (Dymock et al. Pharmcog. Ind. Reprint. edit. 2:584. 1891).