Nicotiana tabacum L.

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Nicotiana tabacum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vanduzi, Manica

Nicotiana tabacum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vanduzi, Manica

Nicotiana tabacum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vanduzi, Manica

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Common names: Chikwarimba (Shona) Fodya (Shona) Hunga (Shona) Igwayi (Ndebele) Tobacco (English)
Frequency: Occasional
Status: Introduced
Somewhat bushy annual or short-lived perennial, to 2 m. Leaves obovate-spathulate to elliptic or sometimes lanceolate, 50 cm or more in length but upper leaves smaller, green or brownish, ± hairy and sticky glandular on both surfaces; base narrowing into a winged petiole, decurrent on the stem; lower leaves often forming a rosette; margin entire but wavy. Flowers in branched, terminal and axillary heads. Corolla pale greenish to white with pink or reddish lobes, expanded into a wide gaping throat; tube up to 8 cm long. Fruit more or less erect, narrowly ellipsoid, ovoid or round, 10-20 mm long, brownish, hairless, beaked, splitting above into 2 valves.
Notes: Widely cultivated for cigarette tobacco, medicinal purposes and occasionally as a garden ornamental.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: It escapes cultivation and as been recorded from riverbeds, anthills and in old cultivation and waste places.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1460 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Originating in N Argentina and Bolivia but now throughout tropical South America, Central America and the southern United States.
Zimbabwe distribution: C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Chrysodeixis chalcites (Food plant)
Maruca vitrata (Larval food plant)
Oedicentra albipennis (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 1 June 2008

Gonçalves, A.E. (2005). Solanaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(4) Pages 17 - 18.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 79.

Shone, D.K. & Drummond, R.B. (1965). Poisonous Plants of Rhodesia Ministry of Agriculture, Rhodesia Page 37.

Other sources of information about Nicotiana tabacum:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Nicotiana tabacum
Flora of Malawi: Nicotiana tabacum
Flora of Mozambique: Nicotiana tabacum
Flora of Zambia: Nicotiana tabacum
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Nicotiana tabacum

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Nicotiana tabacum
African Plant Database: Nicotiana tabacum
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Nicotiana tabacum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Nicotiana tabacum
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Nicotiana tabacum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Nicotiana tabacum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Nicotiana tabacum
JSTOR Plant Science: Nicotiana tabacum
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Nicotiana tabacum
Plants of the World Online: Nicotiana tabacum
Tropicos: Nicotiana tabacum
Wikipedia: Nicotiana tabacum

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Nicotiana tabacum., retrieved 13 June 2024

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