Also known as:
Central and South America

General description

Erect, foul-smelling annual herb < 2 m tall. Stems are stout, smooth and green to reddish. Leaves are broad, toothed and alternate. Flowers are large, white, trumpet-shaped and borne in November – April. Fruits are egg-shaped, usually spiny, four-chambered and contain flat, kidney-shaped seeds.

What you need to know

Although thornapple is not a legally declared pest plant, it may still be invasive in some situations. Consider lower risk alternatives for your garden, such as native plants.

Disturbed sites, riparian margins, pasture, gardens, wasteland, roadsides.

Seeds dispersed by birds, gravity and attachment to animal coats.

Reduces crop yield. Toxic to humans and animals.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas each year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion. Other herbicides are available for selective use in pasture.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seed heads if practical

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications
Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with double strength glyphosate gel

Basic Growsafe certified
Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 250ml glyphosate green per 1L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray with 60ml triclopyr per 10 Litres of water and 20ml penetrant in spring or summer

Safety notes

Plant has thorns.
Plant is poisonous to humans and animals.

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMP status

Not a legally declared pest plant
Thornapple - Main species image