Weed Seed: Datura stramonium (Jimsonweed)



Common Name



Primary Noxious, Class 2 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.


Canadian: Occurs in AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).

Worldwide: Exact native range obscure (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2), present in Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand (CABI 2016Footnote 3).

Duration of life cycle


Seed or fruit type


Identification features


  • Seed length: 2.5 - 4.0 mm
  • Seed width: 2.5 - 3.0 mm


  • Rounded D-shaped seed, compressed, hilum is along the narrow edge

Surface Texture

  • Seed dull, pitted surface with wrinkles


  • Seed dull black to brown; immature seeds are lighter

Other Features

  • The hilum is triangular, 1.0 mm long and filled with white to pinkish tissue
  • There is a small bump at the bottom of the hilum

Habitat and Crop Association

Cultivated fields, row crops, old fields, gardens, farmyards, fencelines, shores, roads and disturbed areas (Royer and Dickinson 1999Footnote 4, Darbyshire 2003Footnote 5). A weed of soybeans, beans, corn, tobacco, tomatoes and sweet peppers in the midwestern United States and southern Ontario and Quebec (Weaver and Warwick 1984Footnote 6).

General Information

Jimsonweed is an aggressive colonizer of agricultural fields in almost any summer crop. Plants may produce 1,300-30,000 seeds, and these may survive up to 39 years in the soil (CABI 2016Footnote 3). Poisonous to livestock and humans (Royer and Dickinson 1999Footnote 4).

Similar species

Buffalo bur (Solanum rostratum)

  • The seeds are a similar rounded D-shape, pitted surface, compressed and black colour as jimsonweed.
  • Buffalo bur seeds (length: 2.5 - 3.3 mm; width: 2.3 - 2.5 mm) are generally smaller than jimsonweed, have a deeply pitted surface, wavy edges, and an open hilum.

Large thorn apple (Datura ferox)

  • The seeds of large thorn apple are the same rounded D-shape, size, black colour and dull, pitted and wrinkled surface as jimsonweed.
  • The hilum of large thorn apple is oval with rounded edges, not triangular with straight edges as jimsonweed. There is also a notch next to the hilum, rather than a bump as in jimsonweed.


Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) seeds
Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) seed
Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) seed, hilum view
Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) seed
Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) seed, cross-section

Similar species

Similar species: Buffalo bur (Solanum rostratum) seeds
Similar species: Buffalo bur (Solanum rostratum) seed
Similar species: Large thorn apple (Datura ferox) seeds
Similar species: Large thorn apple (Datura ferox) seed
Similar species: Large thorn apple (Datura ferox) seed, hilum view
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