Desert Thorn Apple

Desert Thorn Apple

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atura discolor, also called the desert thorn-apple, is an herbaceous annual plant native to the  Sonoran Desert of western North America, where it grows in sandy soils and washes.

The term "thorn apple" refers to the spiky seed pods of datura plants that form once the flowers have fallen off.

The species was first described in 1833. The name "discolor" refers to the combination of colors in the flower. The angelic white flowers possess streaky purple throats. The blooms can measure over six inches in diameter. The flowers are very short-lived, but the plant produces numerous blooms that continue over the course of the season.

The plant itself is an upright or low-lying shrub that can grow to 4.5 feet tall. Its foliage is light green, and its stalks have conspicuous purple stripes. The ovate-shaped leaves can be whole or toothed.

The species' natural distribution area stretches from Mexico to the Southwestern U.S., and the Caribbean Islands. It is a sun-loving plant that likes well drained soils and tolerates heat and drought.