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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Somewhat bushy annual or short-lived perennial, to 1 m. Leaves broadly ovate to elliptic, sometimes elliptic-lanceolate or subcircular, 2.5-12.5 cm or more in length, ± fleshy, hairy and sticky; petiole not winged. Flowers often many, in branched, panicle-like terminal inflorescences. Corolla 1.2-2 cm long, greenish to yellow, tube broadly widening and urceolate above. Fruit more or less erect, ± spherical to ellipsoid-ovoid, 7-11 mm long, hairless, splitting above into 4 valves.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Derivation of specific name

rustica: of wild places
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Description

Wild tobacco is an annual forb that grows to 5 feet tall but commonly shorter in areas north of its natural range. Leaves are alternate, entire, ovate to lanceolate, and up to 12 inches near the base but reduced gradually toward the top. Both the stem and leaves are pubescent. Pale yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers are approximately 1 inch long and borne in terminal panicles or racemes. The flowers also exude a rather unpleasant odor. The numerous, tiny, scarcely flattened, dark seeds form in capsules.

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USDA NRCS Rose Lake Plant Materials Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Alternative names

Aztec tobacco, Native tobacco, Zuni tobacco, Mapacho

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USDA NRCS Rose Lake Plant Materials Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Distribution

Worldwide distribution

Native to S America but now widely distributed in warm parts of both hemispheres.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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Distribution in Egypt

Nile region, Oases (Uweinat) and Sinai.

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© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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Global Distribution

Native to Mexico and Texas, naturalize warm regions.

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Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

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Distribution: A native of N. America. Cultivated elsewhere.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Distribution and adaptation

Wild tobacco is native to the southwestern United States, Mexico and parts of South America. Given proper care, this species can be grown throughout the continental United States.

For a current distribution map, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Website.

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USDA NRCS Rose Lake Plant Materials Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Differs from Nicotiana tabacum in its smaller size, the ovate-oblong and thickened leaves, yellow to yellowish-green flowers and the shorter obtuse corolla lobes.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Description

Herbs annual, 40-60(-120) cm tall, with viscid, glandular hairs. Petiole 5-15 cm; leaf blade ovate, oblong, or lanceolate, 10-30 cm, membranous, glandular hairy, base cordate or rounded. Inflorescences many-flowered, compact to lax panicles. Pedicel 3-7 mm. Calyx cup-shaped, 7-12 mm; lobes deltate, unequal. Corolla greenish yellow, tubular; tube 1.2-2 cm; limb ca. 4 mm in diam.; lobes short, obtuse, apiculate. Stamens unequal. Capsules subglobose, 1-1.6 cm. Seeds brown, oblong, ca. 1 mm. Fl. Jul-Aug.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated in Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Qinghai, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan [native to South America]
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Dispersal

Establishment

If starting indoors seed can be planted as much as 10 weeks prior to last expected spring frost. Surface sow seed approximately ½ inch apart on firmed soil in a 2 to 3 inch deep tray. Press seed to soil but do not cover more than 1/16 inch. Keep soil moist and warm. Most seed will germinate within 20 days. Seedlings can be transplanted to individual pots when the second set of leaves appears (approximately 2 inches tall). Transplant outdoors in a sunny location at 18-inch spacings into rich, well-drained soil after any chance of frost. Harden plants by placing pots in a shady outdoors area for 3 or 4 days prior to transplanting.

If seeding directly outdoors plant 4 or 5 seeds every 18 inches after the last expected frost. Thin to one when plants reach 4 to 6 inches. So as not to damage the roots of the desired plants, clip unwanted plants at ground level rather than pulling them.

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USDA NRCS Rose Lake Plant Materials Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per.: Dec.-March.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Nicotiana rustica

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Nicotiana rustica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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© NatureServe

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GU - Unrankable

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Status

Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).

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USDA NRCS Rose Lake Plant Materials Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Management

These species are introduced in Switzerland.
  • Aeschimann, D. & C. Heitz. 2005. Synonymie-Index der Schweizer Flora und der angrenzenden Gebiete (SISF). 2te Auflage. Documenta Floristicae Helvetiae N° 2. Genève.   http://www.crsf.ch/ External link.
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© Info Flora (CRSF/ZDSF) & Autoren 2005

Supplier: Name It's Source (profile not public)

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Wild tobacco can be periodically fed with a dilute liquid or small amount of dry fertilizer. Manure can be added to the soil mix in addition to or in lieu of fertilizer. Irrigate if conditions become droughty but wild tobacco is susceptible to disease problems when the soil is keep too moist. Pruning flowers can stimulate leaf growth. Harvest the leaves before frost and dry in bundles to retain moisture as they cure.

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USDA NRCS Rose Lake Plant Materials Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Cultural Wild tobacco is a highly sacred plant in American Indian tribal culture. Although specific tribal uses may vary, it is integral to many ceremonies involving prayer, protection, reverence, and healing.

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USDA NRCS Rose Lake Plant Materials Center

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Notes

Comments

Used for tobacco and as an insecticide.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Disclaimer

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