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I suspect this is a weed of some type. The stem is similar to poke weed (but thicker), and does not have the same leave shape or small flowers. I want to pull it out of my garden, but I am interested in what it could be and if it is poisonous.

  1. This plant has grown from a small cluster of leaves to about 24" tall in about 3 months and now has large single flower blooms on it.
  2. It has a smooth red color stem that is at least 1/2" in diameter at the base.
  3. The leaves are thick and leathery, 10 to 12 " long, spade shaped with 5 pointy lobes.
  4. It you rub the leaves, it has a disgusting sickly sweet smell. enter image description here
  • Good question, good illustration, and good details; if could include region, if nightblooming or dayblooming, and a close illustration of a flower and flower center when open could also be helpful. Thank you. Welcome to the site! – M H Aug 12 at 2:27
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    I am located in Delaware. It is day blooming with large white trumpet shaped flowers with purple centers; sorry no picture. I pulled it out today and the stem at the base was 1.25" in diameter, height 3 ft and growing. The root was ball shaped with no distinct tap root. Its sap smell was terrible. – Val Aug 15 at 16:50
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That's Jimson-weed, and yes, it's poisonous. If you let that dead flower form a seedhead, you'll get a rather odd, irregular spiny ball. Here's more information about the toxicity of the plant.

Personally, I'd dig it up as soon as I could and get it out of your garden. If you like the large flowers, then you could grow a semi-domesticated (and still poisonous) species (Datura wrightii and others) known collectively as either Angel's Trumpet or Thorn Apple. I think you have the "weed" form because of the reddish stems.

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  • Thank you so much- This was definitely Jimson-weed and was apparently originally named "Jamestown weed" because some settlers ate it and suffered hallucinations for days. – Val Aug 15 at 17:05
  • My mother grew the domesticated species when I was a child. We neighborhood boys (being boys) would sometimes have wars where we'd throw the prickly seeds at each other. As you can guess, they'd hurt quite a bit when they hit exposed flesh and would sometimes cause a rash. I guess we weren't very bright back then :) On a happier note, the plant's flowers are very fragrant at dusk and into the night. – Jurp Aug 15 at 17:34

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