Tree Tobacco
Nicotiana glauca

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Nicotiana (nih-ko-she-AH-na) (Info)
Species: glauca (GLAW-kuh) (Info)




Tropicals and Tender Perennials


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer




Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


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


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

Tucson, Arizona

Anaheim, California

Cabazon, California

Citrus Heights, California

Del Mar, California

Escondido, California

La Mesa, California

Long Beach, California

Los Angeles, California

Malibu, California

Menifee, California (2 reports)

San Diego, California (5 reports)

Santa Rosa, California

Yosemite Lakes, California

Kurtistown, Hawaii

Barbourville, Kentucky

Henderson, Nevada

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Big Bend National Park, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 16, 2015, 2QandLearn from Menifee, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

By removing spent flowers, you can keep them from going to seed & springing up elsewhere. This is encouraged wherever they tend to come up like weeds . . .

So, if you like the plant & the wildlife it supports, but have trouble with seeds sprouting everywhere, learn to regularly deadhead its flowers.

Another problem of its becoming weedy is reportedly common in looser soils, but not heavy clay . . . it reportedly proliferates via underground runners. . . .

So, in loose soils, you may want to reconsider planting it in the first place . . . at least in areas where it grows rampant.

(I've recently planted a few of these in our heavy clay soil, and, will be dead-heading & keeping my eye on them. Already the Hummingbirds are gatherin... read more


On Aug 27, 2012, islay from Long Beach, CA wrote:

It just appeared and grew rapidly in a corner. We are in the City of Long Beach , I am sick of dropped flowers and seedlings but haven't the heart to remove it because the birds love it .
Now 20' tall it will get a severe pruning this week because my neighbour is complaining about branches arching over our wall.
We have noticed an explosion of wildlife in the garden since this tree arrived .i would like to try and keep it at 10 or 15 feet in the future .
Messy but well worth it for the butterflies and birds .


On Oct 30, 2011, bethlewitt2000 from LA JOLLA, CA wrote:

This is an invasive pest in Southern California that we have been working to eliminate. Please do not plant it where it is considered to be a problem. Also do remember that it is poisonous. Thank you


On Jun 25, 2010, hamster3null from Escondido, CA wrote:

This thing grew up in a remote corner of my lot, in poor packed sandy soil that's never been tilled, fertilized, or used to grow anything before, without any assistance (though there's a couple of low flow rate drippers nearby, which I routed there last year in hopes of starting some groundcover). I'm pretty sure it wasn't there a year ago. It managed to grow at least 8' tall in less than a year. More likely, in six months. Here I am going to extreme pains trying to grow nursery-bought roses and bougainvilleas not 20 feet from that spot, and this plant just shows up and effortlessly grows taller than anything I've planted.

Maybe I should plant more of those around the lot. Too bad they are poisonous.


On May 25, 2010, sherman99 from Menifee, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

plant grows voluntarily on property. well worth having due to the wildlife benefit.


On Aug 7, 2008, dabarnes from Tucson, AZ wrote:

I have no problem with these getting out of control in the desert. I planted a few seeds three years ago and had one plant. None grew last year and this year three are growing nicely. The hummingbirds and Sphinx moths love them. Some of my gourd vines are climbing on the sturdy branches and it has saved me from having to provide additional support. It looks pretty cool with the yellow flowers and baby bottle neck gouds hanging from it. This plant needs water to survive, so it's great for the desert since it only seems to trive during the rainey season.


On Mar 11, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this tree or shrub which is native to Bolivia and Argentina. Tree Tobacco (Nicotiana glauca) also is known by the common names mustard tree, wild tobacco, wildetabak, Mexican tobacco, tabaco Cimarron, taba, Don Juan and Brazilian tree tobacco. Tree tobacco has become naturalized in the southwestern United States, as well as Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Ohio and Hawaii where it is considered a common weed by some. Preferring moist, but well-drained soil, it can be found in gravelly/sandy washes and at river edges.

Tree tobacco is small, evergreen tree or shrub with a loose-branching habit. It grows between 6 and 25 feet tall; however, it is usually between 6 and 15 feet tall. The opposite, smooth, large lance-shaped leaves appear on short stalks and clasp ... read more


On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Tree Tobacco Nicotiana glauca ia naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.


On Mar 19, 2004, dlnorton from Riverside, CA wrote:

I've seen this tree in my area, Riverside, CA. Some folks grow it simply because it'll grow just about anywhere. I've also seen it growing in vacant lots and undeveloped areas. We have a couple plants out behind our warehouse where I work. I've heard it being called "Indian Tobacco" ...refering to the Native Americans...but don't hold me to it.


On Mar 6, 2003, jacaranda wrote:

There is a tree in my backyard, in Puerto Rico, I know is nicotiana, but the flowers are smaller, same shape, and white. Every bird, all kinds of insects, love this tree. Unfortunately, every seed that falls on pots, or ground becomes a seedling.

It could become a pest. However, that is a small price while watching all the life it feeds.


On Jan 30, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Considered to be a noxious weed in parts of the US.