Exploring Weeds in the Department of Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences


The Department of Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences focuses on the control and management of weeds in various landscapes, including agricultural fields, gardens, and home lawns. Weeds are a common problem that increases in length and aggression in soils, often outcompeting desired plants for resources. Effective control of weeds is crucial for maintaining the health and productivity of plants in these areas.

One of the main challenges in weed control is the use of herbicides. While herbicides can be effective in controlling weeds, they also have potential negative impacts on the environment and human health. It is essential to have a good understanding of the potential risks and benefits of herbicide use. Furthermore, it is important to consider alternative methods of weed control, such as tillage, mulching, and planting cover crops.

One particularly dangerous weed that the Department of Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences focuses on is jimsonweed. Jimsonweed is a poisonous plant that can cause convulsions, hallucinations, and even death if ingested. The plant is often found in open areas, along roadsides, and in disturbed soils. Its white or purple flowers and thick, tall vegetation make it easily recognizable, especially before the first frost.

If you suspect jimsonweed poisoning, it is important to seek emergency medical care immediately. The prognosis for jimsonweed poisoning depends on how much of the plant was ingested and how long ago it was consumed. While there is no specific antidote for jimsonweed poisoning, supportive care, such as intravenous fluids and medications to control convulsions, may be needed.

Jimsonweed Control: How To Get Rid Of Jimsonweeds In Garden Areas

Jimsonweed is a toxic plant that can cause serious harm if ingested. It is important to remove jimsonweeds from garden areas to prevent poisoning and maintain a safe environment for both humans and animals.

Jimsonweed, also known as jimsonweed or Datura stramonium, is a tall, herbaceous plant that can reach a height of 6 feet or more. It has large, white, trumpet-shaped flowers and thorny seed capsules. Jimsonweed is commonly found in disturbed soils, such as gardens, fields, and landscape areas.

Jimsonweed is toxic to humans and animals, and its symptoms can range from mild to severe. Ingesting any part of the plant can cause symptoms such as dry mouth, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, fever, hallucinations, and convulsions. In some cases, jimsonweed poisoning can be fatal, especially if medical treatment is not sought immediately.

While jimsonweed can be difficult to control, there are several methods that can help you get rid of these weeds in your garden areas:

1. Manual Removal: The most effective way to control jimsonweeds is to manually remove them from your garden areas. Wear gloves and use a hoe or shovel to dig up the entire plant, including its roots. Be careful to remove all seedlings and any seed capsules that may be present.

2. Herbicide Application: If manual removal is not feasible, you can use herbicides to control jimsonweeds. Choose a herbicide that is labeled for jimsonweed control and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Be sure to apply the herbicide when the jimsonweed is actively growing and before it reaches the flowering stage.

3. Soil Tillage: Tillage can be an effective method of controlling jimsonweeds in larger garden areas or agricultural fields. By regularly tilling the soil, you can disrupt the growth cycle of the weeds and prevent them from spreading.

It is important to note that jimsonweed seeds remain viable in the soil for many years, so continued monitoring and control measures may be necessary. Additionally, jimsonweed can be toxic to beneficial plants, so be sure to carefully follow control methods that are safe for your desired plants.

If you suspect jimsonweed poisoning in a person or animal, it is important to seek emergency medical assistance immediately. Call your local emergency number or poison control center for more information and guidance.


  • Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences. Michigan State University. “Weeds.”
  • Jimsonweed. National Capital Poisons Center. “What You Should Know About…Jimsonweed Poisoning.”
  • White, L. “Jimsonweed Control in Field Crops.” University of Illinois Extension.”

What is Jimsonweed

Jimsonweed, also known as Datura stramonium, is a highly poisonous and invasive weed that belongs to the nightshade family. It can be found in open areas, landscapes, and gardens, typically in soils that are rich in nutrients. Jimsonweed is an annual plant, meaning it completes its life cycle in one year.

The goal of the Department of Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences is to control and manage weeds, including jimsonweed, for the health and productivity of crop plants.

Jimsonweed is known for its large, trumpet-like flowers and alternate, toothed leaves. The plant can reach a height of up to five feet tall and has a branching structure. It produces spiny seed capsules that contain numerous small black seeds.

Jimsonweed is highly toxic and can cause severe poisoning if ingested. The plant contains several poisonous alkaloids, most notably hyoscyamine, atropine, and scopolamine. Ingesting any part of the plant, including the leaves, seeds, stems, and flowers, can lead to symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, blurred vision, fever, convulsions, and in extreme cases, death.

If a person is poisoned by jimsonweed, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. In case of emergency, call your local poison control center or 911.

To control jimsonweed in gardens or other planted areas, it is recommended to manually remove the plants, including the roots. Care should be taken not to touch the plant with bare hands, as contact with the plant’s sap can cause skin irritation. Proper disposal of the plant material is essential to prevent the spread of the seeds.

Chemical control methods, such as the use of herbicides, can also be effective in managing jimsonweed. However, care should be taken when using herbicides, as they can have negative effects on other plants and the environment. It is recommended to consult with a professional or refer to references for specific herbicide recommendations and guidelines.

In summary, jimsonweed is a highly poisonous and invasive weed that can be found in open areas, landscapes, and gardens. It is important to be aware of its toxic nature and take necessary measures to prevent poisoning and control its growth. Seeking professional guidance and following proper handling and disposal procedures can help ensure a safe and toxin-free environment.

How to Get Rid of Jimsonweeds

Jimsonweeds are aggressive and poisonous weeds that can be a nuisance in your garden or landscape. If you haven’t dealt with jimsonweeds before, it’s important to know how to identify and control them effectively.

Jimsonweeds, also known as Datura stramonium, are tall and thick plants that can grow up to 5 feet in height. They have large white or purple flowers and oval-shaped seed pods. Jimsonweeds are commonly found in disturbed areas, such as gardens, fields, and along roadsides.

One of the most common ways to get rid of jimsonweeds is through tillage. By tilling the soil, you can disrupt the jimsonweed’s root system and prevent it from regrowing. However, this method may not be suitable for all areas, such as home gardens or areas with sensitive vegetation.

If you’re dealing with an emergency situation and someone has ingested jimsonweed, it’s important to seek medical help immediately. Jimsonweed poisoning can cause symptoms such as hallucinations, convulsions, and respiratory problems. The prognosis for a person who ingests jimsonweed is usually good if medical care is provided in a timely manner.

For control in your garden or landscape, there are a few methods you can try. One option is to manually remove the jimsonweeds by pulling them up from the root. This method can be time-consuming, especially if you have a large infestation of jimsonweeds.

Another option is to use herbicides specifically labeled for jimsonweed control. It’s important to read and follow the instructions on the herbicide label carefully to ensure proper application and safety. Herbicides can be effective in controlling jimsonweeds, but they may also harm other desirable plants, so use caution when applying them.

In colder climates, winter frost can help control jimsonweeds. Jimsonweed seeds can’t survive freezing temperatures, so the frost can kill off any remaining seeds or seedlings. However, this method may not be effective in areas with mild winters.

If you’re looking for more information on how to control jimsonweeds, the Department of Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences has resources available. They can provide you with helpful tips and guidance on how to effectively manage jimsonweed in your specific situation.

In conclusion, getting rid of jimsonweeds can be a challenge, but with the right approach and care, you can successfully control and eliminate this aggressive and poisonous weed from your garden or landscape.

Department of Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences Weeds

Your calling to care for plants begins with understanding the role of weeds in plant soil and microbial sciences. Weeds are unwanted plants that can interfere with and compete against desirable crops or plants. They can also serve as indicator plants, revealing the nutrient status or soil conditions of an area. Therefore, it’s important to recognize and manage weeds to ensure the health and productivity of your plants.

Identifying Weeds and Symptoms of Weed Presence

To properly manage weeds, you must first be able to identify them. Weeds can vary in size, color, and shape. They may have distinct leaves, flowers, or seed heads that set them apart from desired plants. Additionally, observing the growth habit, such as the height and branching pattern, can help in identifying weeds. It’s also essential to understand the symptoms of weed presence, such as stunted growth, chlorosis, or wilting of host plants.

Getting Rid of Weeds

Once you’ve identified the weeds in your planting areas, it’s important to choose the appropriate method to control or eliminate them. Different strategies can be employed, depending on the level of infestation, type of weed, and desired approach. Common methods include manual removal, mowing or cutting, herbicide application, or open tillage. The goal is to prevent the spread and establishment of weeds, which can be aggressive and compete for essential resources with your desired plants.


  • Department of Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences. (year). Control and Management of Weeds in the Landscape. Retrieved from [link]
  • Smith, J. (year). Weed Identification and Control Methods. In Introduction to Plant Science (pp. 123-145). Publisher.

Potential Poisoning Risks and Management

Some weeds, such as the jimsonweed plant, have toxic properties and can pose a threat if ingested. Symptoms of poisoning can range from mild to severe, including nausea, convulsions, or even death in extreme cases. If you suspect someone has ingested a toxic or poisonous plant, it’s essential to seek medical help immediately.

Avoiding contact with toxic or poisonous weeds is crucial, especially if you have children or pets at home. Educate yourself on the potential toxicity of weed species commonly found in your area, and take necessary precautions to prevent accidental ingestion or exposure.

Jimsonweeds, in particular, are known to have potential poisonous effects. If you encounter jimsonweeds in your garden or landscape, take appropriate measures to control or eradicate them. Wear protective clothing and gloves when handling or removing this plant, as contact with its sap or parts can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions.

Outlook and Winter Control

Weeds can be especially aggressive during the growing season, but their control is necessary throughout the year. During the winter months, it’s important to stay vigilant and assess the extent of weed growth. Some weed species may lay dormant during this period, only to emerge with renewed vigor in the spring.

Proper planning and implementation of weed control methods, such as herbicide applications or open tillage, can help prevent weed establishment and reduce their impact on your desired plants. Regular monitoring and proactive weed management will contribute to the overall health and productivity of your garden or landscape.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.