by Stephen Mifsud
   2 Dec 2023      ()
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Datura stramonium   (Common Thorn Apple)

Datura stramonium  (SOLANACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: Jul-2022)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Datura stramonium - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from on 02-Dec-2023

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Datura stramoniumL.
Published in Fl. Jap. (Thunberg) 91. (1784)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Datura tatula L.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Solanaceae Juss. (The Potato Family)
17 species from the Solanaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Common Thorn Apple, Apple of Peru, Devil's Trumpet

Maltese name(s) :

Maltese name not known

Status for Malta :

Casual or accidental alien. Species that was introduced in Malta rather recently and normally it is short-lived or resticted to small populations for a short time, without becoming widespread or invasive.

Frequency :

Data not available - casual or short-lived in the wild from accidental garden or agriculture escape

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

April – October

Colour of Flowers:



Highly toxic and can lead to death even if consumed in minute quantities

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Cultivated ground, waste places and other open habitats.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Cultivated plant often escaping by a short distance in abandoned fields, steppe of field margins.
Botanical Description: Plant 50-200 cm, glabrous to puberulent. Leaves 5-18(-21) x 4-15 cm, ovate to elliptical, acute, cuneate to subcordate at base, sinuate-dentate to -lobed. Calyx 30-50 mm, angled; teeth (3-)5-10 mm, unequal. Corolla 5-10 cm, infundibuliform, white or purple. Capsule (2.5-)3.5-7 x (2-)3.5 cm, ovoid, erect, dehiscing regularly, densely covered with more or less equal, rather slender spines up to 15 mm, rarely smooth.
Chromosome number: 2n=24
Distributional range: Naturalized in most of Europe except the extreme north, but in some regions very irregular in its appearances.
Native region outside Europe: (America.)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Introduced in  All except the Balaeric Islands, Faroe Islands, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Russia and former USSR, Svalbard archipelago
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
[AE(G) Ag Al Ar Au(A) Az nAz(C F G J L M P S T) Be Bl(I M) nBl(N) Br Bu By Ca(C F G H L P T) Cg nCo Cr Cs Ct Cy Da nEg Es nGa Ga(F) Ge Gg Gr Hb(E) He Ho Hs nHs(S) Hu Ir It Jo La Li nLS Lt nLu Ma Md(M P) Mo No Po Rf(C E K NW S) Rm Sa Si(S) Sk Sl Sn Sr Su Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K)]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (8 images)
   Datura stramonium   -   Image Code: DTRST-0.
   Datura stramonium   -   Image Code: DTRST-1.
   Datura stramonium   -   Image Code: DTRST-2.
   Datura stramonium   -   Image Code: DTRST-3.
   Datura stramonium   -   Image Code: DTRST-4.
   Datura stramonium   -   Image Code: DTRST-5.
   Datura stramonium   -   Image Code: DTRST-6.
   Datura stramonium   -   Image Code: DTRST-7.

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