NICOTIANA SYLVESTRIS - The Flowering Tobacco plant

Nicotiana sylvestris - the flowering tobacco plant
Nicotiana sylvestris - the flowering tobacco plant
Nicotiana sylvestris is an imposing yet stunning flowering half-hardy annual, and is believed to be one of the parents of Nicotiana tabacum, the plant used in modern tobacco production. Nicotiana tabacum does not exists in the wild and is only found in cultivation.

Nicotiana sylvestris - the flowering tobacco plant
Nicotiana sylvestris - botanical illustration
Native to Argentina, Nicotiana sylvestris is a leafy plant which can grow up to  5 ft tall. Its stout stems carry lyre-shaped, and slightly sticky leaves which are mid-green in colour. The blooms are produced on spikes which appear in August. Each flower is white, trumpet shaped and approximately 3 1/2 inches long. The are highly fragrant and open in the evening. The scent is strongest at night, so that they can attract pollinating moths. They will close in full sun, but can remain open on dull days. Once pollinated each flower will eventually produce a large quantity of small seeds.

Grow Nicotiana sylvestris in a rich, well-drained soil preferably in a warm and sunny position. They may require additional support but only in exposed areas, and some shade from the mid-day sun in hotter climates.

Nicotiana sylvestris gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993, the genus name of which was named after Jean Nicot, a 16th century French diplomat and scholar.

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NICOTIANA SYLVESTRIS - The Flowering Tobacco plant