The INTERCOM model was calibrated for Datura stramonium and maize with data from monoculture plots, and used to simulate the competition between the weed and the crop. The model adequately simulated the growth (leaf area index, above-ground biomass, plant height, yield) of both species in monoculture. In competition, the growth of D. stramonium and the competitive effect of D. stramonium on the growth of maize were clearly underestimated. Simulation of competition was improved when the observed morphological adaptations of D. stramonium under competitive light stress, as reflected in dry-matter partitioning, height growth and specific leaf area (SLA) were considered. Model analysis demonstrated that the observed changes in SLA and height growth were more relevant for the increased competitive ability of D. stramonium. The modification of the model in order to simulate the effect of shading by an overtopping species in the SLA of the shaded species improved model simulation of competition.