Invasive Vegetation Management & Treatment Limited

 

Devils Apple

 Name: Devil's Apple

Latin name: Datura stramonium

Occurrence: Devil's Apple known by the common names jimson weed, gypsum weed, ditch weed, stink weed, loco weed, Korean morning glory, Jamestown weed, thorn apple, angel's trumpet, devil's trumpet, devil's snare, devil's seed, mad hatter, crazy tea, malpitte, the Devil's balls and, along with datura metel, zombie cucumber is a common weed in the Nightshade Family. It contains tropane alkaloids that are sometimes used as a hallucinogen. The active ingredients are atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine which are classified as deliriants, or anticholinergics. Due to extremely high risk of overdose, many deaths and hospitalizations are reported from recreational use.

Devils Apple photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facts and figures:

Devil's Apple is an erect annual plant, on average 30 to 150 cm (1-5 feet) tall with erect, forking and purple stems. The leaves are large, 7 to 20 cm (3-8 in) long and have irregular teeth similar to those of oak leaves. The flowers are one of the most distinctive characteristics of Datura stramonium: they are trumpet-shaped, white to purple, and 2-7 in. (5-12.5 cm) long. The flowers, with the same fragrance as Mirabilis jalapa, open and close at irregular intervals during the evening, earning the plant the nickname moonflower. The fruit are walnut-sized, egg-shaped, and covered in prickles, they split into four chambers, each with a few kidney-shaped seeds. All parts of the plant emit a foul odor when crushed or bruised.

Effects:

The effects of Datura have been described as a living dream: consciousness falls in and out, people who don't exist or are miles away are conversed with, etc. The effects can last for days. Tropane alkaloids are some of the few substances which cause true hallucinations which cannot be distinguished from reality. It may be described as a "real" trance when a user under the effect can be awake but completely disconnected from his immediate environment. In this case, the user would ignore most stimuli and respond to unreal ones. This is unlike psilocybin or LSD, which only cause sensory distortions.

The doses that cause noticeable effects and the doses that can kill are very close with datura. This makes overdosing on Datura stramonium very easy. This can be fatal; it can cause fevers in the 105-110 (40-43°C) range which is a range that can kill brain cells, and lead to brain damage. There have been many instances of teenagers looking for a cheap high poisoning themselves to death on datura. If someone overdoses on datura it is advised to induce vomiting, to wash out his or her stomach, and to get the person hospitalized immediately.

Management:  

Chemical control can be achieved by applying by applying herbicides throughout the growing season. Glyphosate can be used, but is less effective than other herbicides  

Complete eradication programs for Devils Apple are still in early stages, IVM are currently researching advanced methodologies on the plant.

 

Information on this highly toxic plant as found on Wikpedia.

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