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Jamestown weed,large, coarse annual plant (Datura stramonium) of the family Solanaceae (nightshadenightshade,
common name for the Solanaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and a few trees of warm regions, chiefly tropical America. Many are climbing or creeping types, and rank-smelling foliage is typical of many species.
..... Click the link for more information. family), native to warm-temperate and tropical regions of the New World, but long widely distributed and often weedy. This and other species of the genus contain a narcotic poison, stramonium, similar to that of the related belladonna, that has been used by many peoples for various purposes, e.g., as a medicine (now chiefly inhaled for the relief of asthma or applied externally as a painkiller) and in the past as a poison and an instrument for obtaining prophetic dreams or messages in various tribes. The amusing antics of soldiers in colonial Virginia who ate Jimson weed have been recorded for history. Stramonium, comprised of several alkaloids (e.g., scopolaminescopolamine
, alkaloid drug obtained from plants of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), chiefly from henbane, Hyoscyamus niger. Structurally similar to the nerve substance acetylcholine, scopolamine acts by interfering with the transmission of nerve
..... Click the link for more information. , atropineatropine
, alkaloid drug derived from belladonna and other plants of the family Solanaceae (nightshade family). Available either as the tincture or extract of belladonna, or as the pure substance atropine sulfate, it is a depressant of the parasympathetic nervous system.
..... Click the link for more information. , and hyoscyamine), may also be obtained from some other species of Datura. Scopolamine is used as a sedative. Jimson weed is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Solanales, family Solanaceae.