Botanical name: Datura stramonium Family: Solanaceae
Jimsonweed is a type of Datura. The name Jimsonweed is a corruption of Jamestown weed, after the town in Virginia to which it is first believed to have been imported to the USA from England. Jimsonweed is an annual, growing up to a height of 5 feet with large purplish or white trumpet-shaped flowers and spiny, egg-shaped fruits. The stem is purplish and glabrous (smooth) and the leaves are ovate, irregularly lobed, to 8 in long, and have a foul odor. The flowers, however, are fragrant and sweet-smelling. They open for only one evening, but new ones continue to open throughout the summer and autumn. The flowers are white or pale lavender, shaped like a five-sided funnel, 2-4 in long. Jimsonweed is thought to be native of Mexico and South America, now widely naturalized. It is found wild in the Himalayas.
Medicinal uses: The whole plant is toxic and is used medicinally as anaesthetic and for sedating and relieving muscular spasm. Seed oil can be used for soap making.
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