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also jimsonweed, 1812, American English, shortening of Jamestown-weed (1680s), from Jamestown, Virginia colony, where it was discovered by Europeans (1676), when British soldiers mistook it for an edible plant and subsequently hallucinated for 11 days.
annual, herbaceous, tropical plant (Datura stramonium) of the potato family (Solanaceae) that has become an introduced weed throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere. The plant was used by Algonquin Indians in eastern North America as a hallucinogen and intoxicant. The leaves contain potent alkaloids (hyoscamine and hyoscine), and the plant has been used to develop a drug (stramonium) for treating asthma.