Datura metel is a shrub-like annual (zone 5-7) or perennial (zone
8-10) herb, commonly known as devil's trumpet and metel.
grows in the wild in all the warmer parts of the world, such as India
and is cultivated worldwide for its chemical and ornamental
properties. It was first described by
Linnaeus in 1753, but no
botanically correct illustrations or descriptions were made until
New World was settled. It is not possible to be sure about
its original home.
The plant is an annual or perennial herb growing up to 3 ft
(0.91 m) high. It is slightly furry, with dark violet shoots and
oval to broad oval leaves that are often dark violet as well. The
pleasantly-scented 6–8 in (15–20 cm) flowers are
immensely varied, and can be single or double. Colors range from white
to cream, yellow, red, and violet. The seed capsule is covered with
numerous conical humps and a few spines. It is similar to D.
innoxia, but D. metel has almost glabrous leaves and fruits that are
knobby, not spiny. D. innoxia is pilose all over and has a spiny
2 Use in traditional medicine
3 Black daturas (
Datura metel 'Fastuosa')
4 Botanical description
6 External links
All parts of
Datura plants contain dangerous levels of highly
poisonous tropane alkaloids and may be fatal if ingested by humans or
other animals, including livestock and pets. In some places, it is
prohibited to buy, sell, or cultivate
Datura metel may be toxic if ingested in a tiny quantity,
symptomatically expressed as flushed skin, headaches, hallucinations,
and possibly convulsions or even a coma. The principal toxic elements
are tropane alkaloids. Ingesting even a single leaf can lead to severe
Use in traditional medicine
Datura metel is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional
Chinese medicine, where it is called yáng jīn huā (洋金花).
However, the ingestion of D. metel in any form is dangerous and should
be treated with extreme caution. According to Drug & Cosmetic Act
1940 & Rule 1995,
Datura metel is banned in India for use in
Black daturas (
Datura metel 'Fastuosa')
Datura metel plant
A cultivar of D. metel with a polished-looking ebony-black stem exists
as a garden plant. Its flowers normally have a double or triple
corolla, each corolla having a deep purple exterior and white or
off-white interior. The plant is already reported to have become
naturalised in Israel (see illustration). The black cultivar might
become a common roadside dweller, like its white-flowered ancestor.
It is known under several cultivar names such as 'Black',
'Blackcurrant Swirl', 'Cornucopaea', 'Double Blackcurrant Swirl',
'Double Purple', and 'Purple Hindu'. It has also received many
scientific names which should not be used for a cultivar:
Datura hummatu var. fastuosa (L.) Bernh.
Datura fastuosa L.
Datura metel f. fastuosa (L.) Danert
Datura metel var. fastuosa (L.) Saff.
Stramonium fastuosum (L.) Moench
The plant has the following characteristics:
Habit - Large, erect and stout herb
Root - Branched tap root system
Stem - The stem is hollow, green and herbaceous with strong odour and
hair like outgrowths
Leaf - Simple, alternate, petiolate, entire or deeply lobed, glabrous
showing unicostate reticulate venation and exstipulate.
Inflorescence - Solitary and axillary cyme
Flower - Large, greenish white, bracteate, ebractiolate, pedicellate,
complete, dichlamydeous, pentamerous, regular, actinomorphic,
bisexual, and hypogynous
Calyx - Sepals 5, green, gamosepalous showing valvate aestivation.
Calyx is mostly persistent and odd sepal is posterior in position.
Corolla - Petals 5, greenish white, gamopetalous, plicate showing
twisted aestivation, funnel shaped with wide mouth and 10-lobed.
Androecium - Stamens 5, free from one another, epipetalous, alternate
the petals and are inserted inside the middle of the corolla tube.
Anthers are basifixed, dithecous with long filament, introrse and
Gynoecium - Ovary superior, syncarpous and bicarpellary. Ovary is
basically bilocular but tetralocular due to false septa. Carpels are
obliquely place and ovules on swollen axile placenta. Style simple,
long and filliform. Stigma is two lobed.
Fruit - Spinescent capsule opening by four apical valves with
Seed - Endospermous
Datura metel L. (Solanacae)". Globinmed. Global Information Hub On
Integrated Medicine. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
^ Safford, William E. (19 April 1921). "Synopsis of the genus Datura".
Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences. 11 (8): 173–189.
Retrieved 28 March 2017.
^ a b c Preissel, Ulrike; Preissel, Hans-Georg (2002). Brugmansia and
Datura: Angel's Trumpets and Thorn Apples. Buffalo, New York: Firefly
Books. pp. 120–123. ISBN 1-55209-598-3.
^ Biology Botany Higher secondary second year, Tamil Nadu board
Edition - 2008
Media related to
Datura metel at Wikimedia Commons
Poisonous Plants of North Carolina:
Plants / animals
Atropa belladonna (belladonna)
Datura innoxia (thorn-apple)
Datura metel (devil's trumpet)
Hyoscyamus niger (henbane)
Mandragora officinarum (mandrake)
Plant List: kew-2757816