Datura stratmonium (common datum, jim-weed, false castor oil plant, stramoniurn,
spiny apple, Jamestown weed, mad apple, brugmansia). A member of the plant family
SOLANCEAE. Annual herbaceous plant with an erect stem, bearing long oval, petiolate
leaves. Flowers are terminal, long and funnel-shaped, white, pale blue or violet
in colour. The fruits are distinctive round, pale green capsules covered in spines
which are the same colour as the capsule. The capsules split from the top into four
parts, revealing many dark brown seeds.
Animals most affected
Cattle, horses, pigs.
Ingestion of the fresh plant (incidences are rare as the plant has a strong, unpleasant
odour) or of contaminated hay.
All parts of the plant, particularly the seeds, are poisonous and contain a number
of tropane alkaloids including atropine, Lhyoscyamine and scopolamine (hyoscine).
Drying the plant does not reduce its toxicity.
Oral doses not well known:
0.5% in the diet (seeds)
tremor, restlessness, dryness of the mucous membranes;
mydriasis, occasional blindness.
In horses (rare):
anorexia, depression, narcosis, tachycardia, tachypnoea, mydriasis, polyuria,
No specific antidote, symptomatic care only:
tranquillizers, sedatives if necessary;
do not give atropine antagonists.