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Can anyone tell me what this is?

Essex, United Kingdom Gb

This plant has suddenly grown on top of the landscaped spoil from some recent (spring) deep culvert excavations along a country track in West Sussex. It could have been jettisoned there from a garden but I don't think so as I walk by every day and it only started to grow along with the seeded grass and other natural weeds in the spoil.

It looks a bit like a cross between a squash and a lychee! The plant is 3 feet high and wide (so far); the white trumpet flowers are 3-4 inches long and the fruits are conker size. Oh, and something likes eating the leaves!

Thanks - Robin

On plant no idea!




PS The shown image has become cropped in loading to cut out the best view of the fruit - which is softly spiky (can still just be seen). - Robin

19 Aug, 2008


Looks like a thorn apple to me...Datura. Very toxic

19 Aug, 2008


Oh and i remember of hearing about a man in my town who had one on his alotment who got pricked by it and his whole arm swelled up...That's if it is one.

19 Aug, 2008


Hello Guybinn - and thanks! You are absolutely right. I have looked it up on a number of sites that confirm the identification with accuracy. As you say - handle with caution. This is part of the relevant quote from

"The thornapple is a bitter narcotic plant that relieves pain and encourages healing. It has a long history of use as a 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"

I wonder what happened to whatever has been munching its leaves!

19 Aug, 2008


If if hasn't killed them they will surely come back as addicts.

19 Aug, 2008

How do I say thanks?

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