Solanaceae: distinctive, pungent smelling annual to 60cm. grows on cultivated and disturbed soils. The whole plant is poisonous. The flowers are about 7-10cm across, white, fragrant trumpet shaped with 5 lobes, blooming from June-October, flowers open at dusk. The capsules can be up to 5cm long, and are armed with very sharp spines. Widely naturalised in Britain but its occurrence is unpredictable and annual success is weather dependent, growing best in warm summers. Original habitat is obscure, as it is found in many areas of the world.
The thornapple is a bitter narcotic plant that relieves pain and encourages healing, it has a long history of use as an herbal medicine, though it is very poisonous and should be used with extreme caution. The leaves, flowering tops and seeds are anodyne, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, hallucinogenic, hypnotic, mydriatic and narcotic, the seeds are the most active medicinally. The plant is used internally in the treatment of asthma and Parkinson's disease, but excess can cause giddiness, dry mouth, hallucinations and coma. Externally, it is used as a poultice or wash in the treatment of fistulas, abscesses wounds and severe neuralgia.
Sow the seed in individual pots in early spring in a greenhouse, put 3 or 4 seeds in each pot and thin if necessary to the best plant. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 15°c. GA3 will help. Easy.
Seeds originally collected Cemetery, Dimchevo, Bulgaria.