Datura stramonium (Scientific name)

General poisoning notes:

Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) is a naturalized annual herb found across most of southern Canada. This plant contains toxic tropane alkaloids, which have caused poisoning and death in humans and other animals. Jimsonweed is named for a case of human poisoning in Jamestown, Va., when soldiers were poisoned by eating the plant in a salad and then suffered delirium and hallucinations. The seeds and leaves are deliberately used to induce intoxication. Children are attracted by the large flowers and become poisoned after sucking the nectar from the base of flowers or ingesting the seeds. Occurrences of human poisoning are more frequent than livestock poisoning in recent literature reports. Animals of all types can be poisoned. The literature mentions poisoning of cattle, goats, horses, poultry, sheep, and swine. Because of the plant''s strong odor and unpleasant taste, animals consume it only when other food is not available. The seeds are sometimes milled with other seeds and have caused problems (Cooper and Johnson 1984, Cheeke and Schull 1985, Lampe and McCann 1985).

References:

  • Callahan, R., Piccola, F., Gensheimer, K., Parkin, W. E., Prusakowski, J., Scheiber, G., Henry, S. 1981. Epidemiologic notes and reports. Plant poisonings - New Jersey. U.S. Dep. Health Hum. M. M. W. R., 30: 65-67.
  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.
  • El Dirdiri, N. I., Wasfi, I. A., Adam, S. E., Edds, G. T. 1981. Toxicity of Datura stramonium to sheep and goats. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 23: 241-246.
  • Goldberg, R. E. 1951. The jimsonweed menace. Today's Health, 29: 38-39, 66.
  • Hughes, J. D., Clark, J. A. 1939. Stramonium poisoning. J. Am. Med. Assoc., 112: 2500-2502.
  • Jacobziner, H., Raybin, H. W. 1961. Fatal salicylate intoxication and stramonium poisoning. N. Y. State J. Med., 61: 301-303.
  • Keeler, R. F. 1981. Absence of arthrogryposis in newborn Hampshire pigs from sows ingesting toxic levels of jimsonweed during gestation. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 23: 413-415.
  • Lampe, K. F., McCann, M. A. 1985. AMA Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. American Medical Assoc. Chicago, Ill., USA. 432 pp.
  • Mitchell, J. E., Mitchell, F. N. 1955. Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) poisoning in childhood. J. Pediatr., 47: 227-230.
  • Moore, D. W. 1976. The autumnal high: jimsonweed in North Carolina. N. C. Med. J., 37: 492-494.
  • Nelson, P. D., Mercer, H. D., Essig, H. W., Minyard, J. P. 1982. Jimson weed seed toxicity in cattle. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 24: 321-325.
  • Stiles, F. C. 1951. Stramonium poisoning. J. Pediatr., 39: 354-356.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Datura stramonium L.
Vernacular name(s):
jimsonweed
Scientific family name:
Solanaceae
Vernacular family name:
nightshade

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Datura stramonium

References:

  • Agriculture Quebec. 1975. Noms des maladies des plantes du Canada/ Names of plant diseases in Canada. , Quebec City, Que., Canada. 288 pp.
  • Alex, J. F., Cayouette, R., Mulligan, G. A. 1980. Common and botanical names of weeds in Canada/Noms populaire et scientifiques des plantes nuisibles du Canada. Revised. Agric. Can. Publ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada. 132 pp.
  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Scoggan, H. J. 1978, 1979. The flora of Canada. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci. (Ottawa) Publ. Bot. 7(1)-7(4). 1711 pp.
  • Van Wijk, H. L. 1911. A dictionary of plant names. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands. 1444 pp.
  • Victorin, M. 1964. Flore Laurentienne. 2nd ed. Univ. Montreal, Montreal, Que., Canada. 952 pp.

Geographic Information

  • Alberta
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

References:

  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Boivin, B. 1966, 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. Provencheria 6. Nat. Can. (Que.) 93: 253-274; 371-437; 583-646; 989-1063. 94: 131-157; 471-528; 625-655.

Image or Illustration

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Notes on Poisonous plant parts:

The entire plant contains alkaloids, but the leaves and seeds are the usual sources of poisoning in humans and other animals. Even the nectar of this plant contains alkaloids that contaminate honey (Cooper and Johnson 1984).

Toxic parts:

  • All parts
  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Mature fruit
  • Seeds
  • Stems

References:

  • Callahan, R., Piccola, F., Gensheimer, K., Parkin, W. E., Prusakowski, J., Scheiber, G., Henry, S. 1981. Epidemiologic notes and reports. Plant poisonings - New Jersey. U.S. Dep. Health Hum. M. M. W. R., 30: 65-67.
  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.
  • El Dirdiri, N. I., Wasfi, I. A., Adam, S. E., Edds, G. T. 1981. Toxicity of Datura stramonium to sheep and goats. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 23: 241-246.
  • Hughes, J. D., Clark, J. A. 1939. Stramonium poisoning. J. Am. Med. Assoc., 112: 2500-2502.
  • Jacobziner, H., Raybin, H. W. 1961. Fatal salicylate intoxication and stramonium poisoning. N. Y. State J. Med., 61: 301-303.
  • Keeler, R. F. 1981. Absence of arthrogryposis in newborn Hampshire pigs from sows ingesting toxic levels of jimsonweed during gestation. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 23: 413-415.
  • Mitchell, J. E., Mitchell, F. N. 1955. Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) poisoning in childhood. J. Pediatr., 47: 227-230.
  • Nelson, P. D., Mercer, H. D., Essig, H. W., Minyard, J. P. 1982. Jimson weed seed toxicity in cattle. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 24: 321-325.
  • Stiles, F. C. 1951. Stramonium poisoning. J. Pediatr., 39: 354-356.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Several tropane alkaloids including hyoscyamine, hyoscine (also called scopolamine), and traces of atropine are found in the plant. The total alkaloid content in the plant varies from 0.25 to 0.7%. The alkaloids are found even in the nectar and can contaminate honey (Cooper and Johnson 1984, Cheeke and Schull 1985).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • Atropine
  • Hyoscine(scopolamine)
  • Hyoscyamine

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.
  • Jacobziner, H., Raybin, H. W. 1961. Fatal salicylate intoxication and stramonium poisoning. N. Y. State J. Med., 61: 301-303.
  • Keeler, R. F. 1981. Absence of arthrogryposis in newborn Hampshire pigs from sows ingesting toxic levels of jimsonweed during gestation. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 23: 413-415.
  • Moore, D. W. 1976. The autumnal high: jimsonweed in North Carolina. N. C. Med. J., 37: 492-494.
  • Nelson, P. D., Mercer, H. D., Essig, H. W., Minyard, J. P. 1982. Jimson weed seed toxicity in cattle. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 24: 321-325.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Cattle

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Symptoms in cattle include incoordination, restlessness, and increased respiration rate. Nelson et al. (1982) conducted feeding experiments on heifers that were fed a normal diet with varying amounts of jimsonweed seeds added. The seeds contained 0.26% atropine and 0.55% hyoscine. Death of cattle seemed unlikely because rumen atony and anorexia limited intake of the feed to below lethal levels. The toxic dosage is about 2.9 mg of atropine and 0.5 mg of hyoscine per kilogram of body weight, which is about 107 seeds per kilogram of body weight.

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Nelson, P. D., Mercer, H. D., Essig, H. W., Minyard, J. P. 1982. Jimson weed seed toxicity in cattle. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 24: 321-325.

Chickens

General symptoms of poisoning:

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.

Goats

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Goats have been poisoned by consuming jimsonweed. Experimental feeding of fresh leaves and fruit caused locomotion disturbances, tremors, drowsiness, and recumbency. Postmortem findings showed lung congestion, hemorrhagic and fatty liver, and heart dilation with hemorrhaging. The renal cortex was pale yellow and the medulla hemorrhagic. The cells of many renal tubes had also degenerated (El Dirdiri et al. 1981).

References:

  • El Dirdiri, N. I., Wasfi, I. A., Adam, S. E., Edds, G. T. 1981. Toxicity of Datura stramonium to sheep and goats. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 23: 241-246.

Horses

General symptoms of poisoning:

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.

Humans

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Symptoms of Datura species poisoning include dry mouth, mydriasis, dry and warm skin, sometimes with reddening of the face and neck. Hallucinations are common, along with blurred vision, random movements, nausea, delerium, and sometimes coma and death. Tachycardia and elevated temperatures occur. Treatment with physostigmine is recommended at 0.5 mg for children and 2 mg for adults (Moore 1976, Cooper and Johnson 1984, Lampe and McCann 1985).

References:

  • Callahan, R., Piccola, F., Gensheimer, K., Parkin, W. E., Prusakowski, J., Scheiber, G., Henry, S. 1981. Epidemiologic notes and reports. Plant poisonings - New Jersey. U.S. Dep. Health Hum. M. M. W. R., 30: 65-67.
  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.
  • Goldberg, R. E. 1951. The jimsonweed menace. Today's Health, 29: 38-39, 66.
  • Hughes, J. D., Clark, J. A. 1939. Stramonium poisoning. J. Am. Med. Assoc., 112: 2500-2502.
  • Jacobziner, H., Raybin, H. W. 1961. Fatal salicylate intoxication and stramonium poisoning. N. Y. State J. Med., 61: 301-303.
  • Lampe, K. F., McCann, M. A. 1985. AMA Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. American Medical Assoc. Chicago, Ill., USA. 432 pp.
  • Mitchell, J. E., Mitchell, F. N. 1955. Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) poisoning in childhood. J. Pediatr., 47: 227-230.
  • Moore, D. W. 1976. The autumnal high: jimsonweed in North Carolina. N. C. Med. J., 37: 492-494.
  • Stiles, F. C. 1951. Stramonium poisoning. J. Pediatr., 39: 354-356.

Sheep

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Jimsonweed poisoning in sheep causes symptoms such as locomotion disturbances, rapid respiration, inability to stand and death. Sheep that were experimentally fed fresh leaves and fruits became ill and died (El Dirdiri et al. 1981). Postmortem examination showed lung congestion, a dilated heart, and hemorrhagic, fatty liver. The renal cortex was pale yellow and the medulla was hemorrhagic. Sheep that received 10 g/kg/day died within 38 days.

References:

  • El Dirdiri, N. I., Wasfi, I. A., Adam, S. E., Edds, G. T. 1981. Toxicity of Datura stramonium to sheep and goats. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 23: 241-246.

Swine

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Swine exhibit symptoms of incoordination, stiff gait, pupil dilation, and drowsiness. Earlier reports had suggested that jimsonweed ingested by pregnant sows might cause arthrogryposis in newborn pigs, but Keeler (1981) determined that this was not the case after feeding experiments. Other studies have found that pigs tolerated, with little effect, and alkaloid intake of 2.2 mg/kg of body weight from seeds containing 0.2-0.6% alkaloid content. Because of the unpalatability of jimsonweed seeds, the feed is rejected and therefore lethal quantities are not likely to be ingested (Cheeke and Schull 1985).

References:

  • Keeler, R. F. 1981. Absence of arthrogryposis in newborn Hampshire pigs from sows ingesting toxic levels of jimsonweed during gestation. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 23: 413-415.

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