Common name: Hairy thornapple
Botanical name: Datura metel
Other common names: Devil’s trumpet; hairy angel’s trumpet
General description: A softly hairy annual herb up to 1m tall, often with purplish stems. A weed of roadsides, waste places and cultivation.
Flowers: Flowers are pendulous and trumpet shaped, deep purple outside, lavender to white inside; 14-20cm long with 5 lobes ending in a fine point. Flowers are usually double or triple.
Leaves: Alternate leaves are 8-17cm long and 4-17cm wide; leaf margins are wavy or serrated, 2-3 lobed on each side.
Fruit/Berries: The fruit are rounded capsules 3-4cm in diameter and covered with very short blunt spines. The seeds are flat and brown, 4-5mm long.
Symptoms: All parts of the plant are toxic. Symptoms may include intense thirst, difficulty with speech and swallowing, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, dilated pupils, seizures and coma. The perfume can cause respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea and light-headedness. Eye contact with the sap may cause dilated pupils and temporary blindness.
Toxicity category: 1, 4
Warning: Seek medical assistance for all ingestions and eye exposures.