An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

SACRED DATURA,Indianapple,tolguacha

Illustration

POTATO FAMILY-Solanaceae

SACRED DATURA-Datura meteloides DC.

DESCRIPTION-A large conspicuous grayish green perennial with a strong disgreeable odor, forming spreading clumps, reproducing by seeds only. The coarse grayish stems are erect but spreading, branched from the base, 2 to 3 feet high, and often the same in diameter. The large eggshaped leaves are alternate, on stout grayish stalks 1 to 5 inches long. The leaf blades, green above and grayish hairy beneath, are 3 to 10 more inches long, the edges wavy toothed and the tip pointed. The veins are whitish and obvious, particularly underneath.

The large showy flowers are white or pale lavender, short stalked, and very fragrant. They are broadly funnelshaped, 6 to 10 inches across, with 5 slender teeth, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. The numerous flowers are borne singly in the forks of the stems, open early in the evening and close sometime before noon of the next day. The hard globeshaped seedpods and seeds are very similar to those of desert thornapple, but the spines are slender, less than 3/8 inch long, and the seeds are a light yellowish brown color.

DISTRIBUTION-Sacred datura is a native perennial weed, growing in dry sandy and gravelly soils. It seldom grows densely, but is found widely scattered along roadsides, ditches, corrals, farms, waste places, and in washes, arroyos, or slopes, on the desert and in pinyon-juniper ranges. Found throughout most of the state, 1,000 to 7,000 feet elevation; flowering May to October. The seeds and other parts of sacred datura are reported to be used by Indians for medicinal purposes; the roots are used as a narcotic to induce hallucinogenic effects.

JIMSONWEED-Datura stramonium L.

DESCRIPTION-A large coarse annual, green and hairless, with small flowers like those of desert thornapple. It differs from both desert thornapple and sacred datura in that the seedpods are erect, hairless, and fewspined. Introduced from the tropics, jimsonweed is common throughout the United States, but only occasional in Arizona. Known only from Cochise and Gila counties, but undoubtedly more widespread.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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