Taxonomic classification of Datura stramonium
*Under each classification is another example organism from our host site, Multiple Organisms*

          The following is the hierarchical classification of the species Datura stramonium, it has been derived from morphological, molecular, and evolutionary relationships.

Domain - Eukarya
Organisms under this domain are eukaryotic, meaning that they have membrane bound organelles and a true nucleus. The diverse array of organisms included in this domain compose the majority of well known species.

The Atlantic Salmon

Kingdom - Plantae
Organisms under the kingdom plantae are unified because of their dependence on a cell wall and chloroplasts. Resultantly, the majority of these organisms are solely photoautotrophic.

The Pistachio

Division/Phylum - Magnoliophyta
          Organisms under this division (the botanical term for phylum) are commonly known as the angiosperms, or flowering plants. This trait is linked to how they reproduce.

The Common Cattail

Class - Magnoliopsida
 This phylum is commonly known as  the dicotyledons. This group of flowering plants is distinguished by have two cotyledon, in addition to having petals in multiple of four or five.

The Lowbush Blueberry

Order - Solanales
          This order, commonly known as the potato order, contains five families of organisms; many of which have been cultivated around the world for thousands of years.

The Potato

Family - Solanaceae
          Organisms under this family compose the commonly known nightshades. Among other common morphological characteristics, this family is many times known for the production of alkaloids

The Tomato

Genus - Datura
Nine specie belong to this genus, however recently Datura spp. have been reclassified as Brugmansia spp.

Species - Datura stramonium
  Commonly known by the name jimson weed, this species actually derives its name from the Hindu vernacular, Dhatura. Stramonium on the other hand originates from Latin, meaning spiked fruit. The name is fitting as jimson weed has also earned the name, the thorn apple, after its extremely veracious  and spiked fruits.




          Phylogenetic trees are an easy way to illustrate relationships between many species or for that matter between any two organisms. The two tree's below represent multiple ways to analyze Datura stramonium's past. It's important to take note that these trees should be treated in a fluid manner as they are constantly changing with the introduction of new techniques and molecular data.

Domain Classification

          The basic phylogenetic tree of life is shown above. The three colors blue, red, and brown illustrate the three separate domains. Within the Brown section or the Eukarya Domain, there are some of the separate kingdoms. Because of the diverse nature of life, some of the phylogenetic classifications have been left out of the tree above.  To the far right the characteristic and commonly known kingdoms are displayed; the animals, the fungi, and the plants.


Family Classification

          This tree is backed by molecular data and  shows the phylogeny of the family Solanaceae. The red area indicates a monophyletic group, who share a common ancestor located where the red arrow is below.


Genus Identification


          If the content above doesn't suit your needs, here is how you can distinguish Datura stramonium in your own back yard!

          The Datura spp. as a weed is many times admired for its beautiful flowers and intense aroma, however it is also many times confused with a closely related genera Brugmansia. By their common names angle’s trumpets (Brugmansia) and thorn apples (Datura) have several differences, that can be distinguished in the table below.

Notice: the key difference falls in the alignment of the flowers and whether or not the plant is tree-like or weed-like, but as seen there are other defining criteria.

          Being that jimson weed is the topic of discussion, the following list will distinguish the species Datura stramonium from the other species in the Datura genus. One offsetting factor in the Datura Stramonium species is the possibility of smooth fruits. This is because although spiny fruits will always occur, they can be in combination with smooth ones.



 - Plants are weed-like with upright flowers
 - Fruits are upright
 - Fruits are covered with spines of the same   length
 - Plants are green with white flowers



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