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Weed Wisdom Dec. 2016


by guest writer Nicole Kimmel, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry


Jimsonweed appeared in 33 fields from 12 counties in Alberta in 2015. They were Barrhead, Camrose, Flagstaff, Leduc, Lacombe, Lac Ste. Anne, Strathcona, Parkland, Ponoka, Westlock, Wetaskiwin, and Wheatland. The majority of reports were in canola, but there were also some in wheat and barley fields. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed that Jimsonweed was imported into Canada in canola seed. In 2016, Alberta had a few continued reports from fields previously reported in 2015. However, with voluntary support from producers in careful removal, Alberta was able to minimize the effects of this weed introduction. Alberta ornamental occurrences have proven that Jimsonweed can produce viable seed and sustain populations in any given year. Alberta will continue to encourage removal when found.


Jimsonweed was previously classified as a Class 1 weed under the Canadian Weed Seeds Order of the Seeds Act. As a prohibited noxious weed under the Seeds Act, it is not allowed to be present in any seed imported into or sold in Canada.

However, as of November 2016, Jimsonweed was downgraded to Class 2; which allows for small amounts (differs across commodities) in common seed grades.

Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) is a rank-smelling annual plant growing up to 2 m tall. It has stout stems usually purple in color. Leaves are ovate, coarsely serrated along edges, 7- 20 cm long and have an unpleasant odor when bruised. Flowers are white or purple with a 5-pointed funnel shaped corolla up to 10 cm long, set on short stalks in the axils of branches and appear in July to September. The prickly (up to 15 mm), four-segmented seed pods burst open from the tip when ripe, exploding to disperse numerous poisonous black, pitted, and kidney-shaped seeds. The native range of Jimsonweed is still under debate, but does not include Canada.