Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tobacco
Nicotiana tabacum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nicotiana (nih-ko-she-AH-na) (Info)
Species: tabacum (tab-AK-um) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow
Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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No positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral htop On Mar 10, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is naturalized in many states including Texas, California, Oklaohoma, Louisiana, Virginia, north Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Hawaii. "Three important species of tobacco grew wild in Texas, one of which, Nicotiana tabacum, is the species to which most modern commercial tobaccos belong. The consumption of tobacco, by means of cigarette and pipe smoking, was a universal custom among the Indians of Texas before the arrival of the Spaniards. The Indians gathered and cured the wild tobacco and also cultivated it in small patches." (Copyright Texas State Historical Association, From the website: The Handbook of Texas Online) Tobacco was first found and cultivated in the Americas, perhaps as early as 6000 B.C. After the discovery and colonization of North and South America, Nicotiana tabacum was exported widely to continental Europe and the rest of the civilized world.

Neutral claypa On Jan 11, 2007, claypa from West Pottsgrove, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Also known as Large Leaf Tobacco, seeds for this plant were somehow obtained by Englishman John Rolfe around the year 1610 in an attempt at commercial propagation at Jamestown, Virginia. The plant is a South American native, and at that time S. America was controlled by Spain, and unauthorized distribution of Tobacco seeds was punishable by death.

This plant played a crucial role in America's economic development, and the colonies Maryland,Virginia, and North Carolina required people to accept Tobacco as currency. Paper currency in America was created to represent quantities of Tobacco in warehouses.
Intensive farming robbed the soil of nutrients and caused soil run-off and river siltation, which drove the English settlers further inland.

According to the Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas, the USDA, and other sources, it is not a U.S. native plant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ranburne, Alabama
Menifee, California
Dunnellon, Florida
Kennesaw, Georgia
Barbourville, Kentucky

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