Wed 30 Aug 2017 by Judy
Beware of Jimson Weed in the Garden
I’m not a huge gardening fan, but I do enjoy planting a few colourful bedding plants in the summer to add a splash of colour. So I was slightly bemused to find several attractive plants with white trumpet-like flowers that I certainly didn’t plant myself. The leaves of these mystery plants look almost tomato like, but the most curious aspect of the plants are the spiky green balls that give the plants an extraterrestrial look about them.
The garden is frequented by my boisterous Cocker Spaniel Molly and a wide variety of birds I feed throughout the year. So,I wanted to make sure the mystery plants were not poisonous to Molly or indeed the birds. After a bit of research it materialised that the plants were Jimson Weed (Datura Stramonium) which is also known as Devil's trumpet, thorn apple and the Indian apple.
Native to Mexico, Jimson Weed Jimson weed is one of the most highly toxic plants there is containing powerful hallucinogenic alkaloids that have been known to cause fatal poisoning in both humans and animals. Luckily it seems that pets stay away from the plant due to the unpleasant odour and the bitter taste of the leaves so thankfully poisoning is rare.
Symptoms of Jimson Weed poisoning in pets
The symptoms of Jimson Weed can include:
- Change in behaviour
- Difficulty standing and walking
- Dilated pupils
- Inability to stand or walk
- Increased breathing
- Increased drinking
- Lack of coordination
- Low body temperature
- Rapid pulse
- Urine retention
Obviously if you think your pet has eaten Jimson Weed you should consult your vet immediately. Take a sample of the plant to help your vet identify the plant correctly. Ensure you don’t touch the plant with bare hands especially if you have cuts or wounds. Puppies and small dogs only need to injest small amounts of the plant to become ill.
So where did the plants come from?
There were 4 Jimson Weed plants in my garden ranging from 6 inches to the largest plant standing at around 2 feet tall. Curiously, each plant was just below the 4 bird feeders in the garden, so I can only assume the seeds were present in the bird feed mix I put out for the birds. The plants have now been removed. I decided to take no chances and wore protective gloves and disposed of the plants carefully.
You can discover more common poisonous plants in our guide.