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DATURA wrightii

Image of Datura wrightii

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

DATURA wrightii

Plant Common Name

Thornapple

General Description

This large bushy herbaceous perennial (or annual) from the American West is best in early morning when its flowers stand open to the dawn sky. It is found in dry washes, rocky hillsides and waste places from sea level to middle elevations in northern Mexico and the United States Plains and Southwest

This heat-lover relies on a deep tap root to reach moisture trapped beneath dry soil. Its downy, oval, dark green or gray-green leaves have a fetid scent. Throughout summer, large, fragrant, white to pale violet trumpet-flowers with toothed lobes open at dusk. They are often visited and pollinated by nocturnal hawk moths. Individual flowers bloom for just a few hours, withering with the heat of the day. The seed pods known as thorn-apples are quite spiny to protect the seed from wildlife.

This sun-loving plant thrives in dry poor soils and is toxic to most herbivores. Relatively cold-hardy, it can be grown in containers or as an annual outside its hardiness range. Closely related to the genus Brugmansia, which bears downward facing trumpet flowers, Datura holds its flowers erect. This coarse and rather gawky perennial works well in naturalistic plantings and other informal settings. Closely related to Datura inoxia, it is sometimes included under that plant as subspecies quinquecuspida.

This plant self-sows in some areas, sometimes invasively.

See http://www.cbif.gc.ca/pls/pp/ppack.info?p_psn=184&p_type=all&p_sci=sci&p_x=px for information about the health hazards associated with this plant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    3'-6' / 0.9m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Fall

  • Native To

    South-Central United States, Western United States, Southwestern United States, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert, Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes