What is datura?
- There are several introduced species of datura in
Tasmania. They are similar in appearance and weediness and are dealt
with together in this control guide.
- Daturas are highly poisonous to humans and stock, and can be a significant crop weed.
- Daturas are declared weeds in Tasmania. The importation, sale and distribution of datura are prohibited in Tasmania.
How to identify datura
- Daturas are
bushy annual herbs growing to 1.5 m high but more commonly from 30 to 60
cm. Daturas have distinctive erect, trumpet-shaped flowers with pointed
lobes which grow singly from a fork of the stem. Flowers may be white,
pink or purple, and the fruit is also distinctive, being a globular
capsule covered in spines (giving the plant its common name,
thornapple). The capsule contains numerous seed. When mature it splits
into 4 segments spilling the seed. The leaves are large (up to 20-35 cm
long) with bluntly toothed margins, and have an unpleasant odour when
- Daturas germinate in the warmer months when there is
sufficient moisture. Germination is often spread over several months,
giving rise to plants of various ages. Early growth is very rapid, and
flowers can be produced by plants as young as 2 to 5 weeks old. Daturas
die off in the cooler autumn weather, although dead plants bearing seeds
can remain standing through winter and into spring.
- For help in identifying datura, search the
Dennis Morris Weeds and Endemic Flora Database
for datura illustrations. If you are still in doubt about the weed you
are dealing with, contact your Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300
368 550 for help.
Datura in Tasmania
- The distribution of datura in Tasmania is limited (see map). Datura occurs as an occasional weed of roadsides and neglected areas on the north-west coast and in the north-east. Daturas are also occasionally found in older or abandoned gardens.
- All parts of the datura plant, and particularly the seeds, are highly toxic and can cause severe or fatal poisoning in humans and stock. However, the bitter taste of datura usually deter stock from browsing on the plant. Daturas are significant weeds of a variety of summer crops on mainland Australia, but are not important agricultural weeds in Tasmania at the present time.
What is the legal status of datura in your area?Detailed management and control guidelines for datura can be found in the
Datura Control Guide. Refer also to
Herbicides for Datura Control. For further information see
DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources.
Datura Control Guide
Herbicides for Datura Control
Datura Statutory Weed Management Plan
Weed Links and Resources
Other useful links
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