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Datura wrightii (Jimsonweed)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Datura wrightii

Datura wrightii Regel

Jimsonweed, Sacred Thorn-apple, Thorn-apple, Angel Trumpet, Sacred Datura, Western Jimson Weed

Solanaceae (Potato Family)

Synonym(s): Datura inoxia ssp. quinquecuspida, Datura metel var. quinquecuspida

USDA Symbol: dawr2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), PR (N), VI (I)

Large, trumpet-shaped, white corollas, generally withered by early morning, protrude from the coarse foliage of this stout, branched, rank-smelling plant.

Extracts from this plant and its relatives are narcotic and, if ingested, potentially lethal. The narcotic properties of species have been known since before recorded history. They once figured importantly in religious ceremonies of southwestern Indians.

The species name of this plant is for Charles Wright, 1811-1885, world-wide botanical collector but mainly in Texas (1837-1852), Cuba and his native Connecticut.


From the Image Gallery

92 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: Usually white, occasionally pale violet to lavender.


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , FL , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TX , UT , VA , WV , WY
Native Distribution: Central California to northern Mexico; east across the Southwest to Texas.
Native Habitat: Often found in floodplains throughout Texas. Well-drained loam, sand, clay.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Acid-based, Calcareous
Conditions Comments: Jimsonweed is a branching forb that blooms large, white, fragrant, trumpet-like flowers from evening through morning. The flowers protrude from the coarse foliage of this stout, rank-smelling plant. The wilted flowers are somewhat unsightly in the afternoon, but extremely showy in the evening and morning. All parts of the plant are highly toxic .


Use Ornamental: Perennial garden, Bog or pond area, Showy
Use Wildlife: A larval host plant for Carolina Sphinx Moth, Manduca sexta, which is the primary pollinator for the species. Few other species can access its nectar.
Use Medicinal: Indigenous people such as the Aztecs used jimsonweed for healing purposes.
Use Other: The narcotic properties of species have been known since before recorded history. They once figured importantly in religious ceremonies of southwestern Indians.
Warning: Extracts from this plant and its relatives are narcotic and, when improperly prepared, lethal. All parts of this plant are poisonous to humans and animals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Manduca sexta, Carolina Sphinx Moth
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High
Poisonous: yes


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Seed started in January should make nice 4-inch pots by April. Very cold weather could delay growth. New plants could be started mid-summer for fall 4-inch pots, but plants freeze back so fall is not the best planting time.
Seed Collection: Collect seeds in late fall.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
NPSOT - Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX


Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1996 VOL. 13, NO.5 - Bats as Cacti Pollinators, Fall Foliage Hotlines, Creating Fall Foliage Leafprin...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Datura wrightii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Datura wrightii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Datura wrightii


Record Modified: 2023-02-06
Research By: TWC Staff

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