This is an archived copy of this article, recovered after a server failure in January 2022.

Some links may be broken, and editing is disabled. We are working to bring back full functionality.

Botanical description

Nicotiana tabacum is a robust annual little branched herb up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) high with large green leaves and long trumpet shaped white-pinkish flowers. All parts are sticky, covered with short viscid-glandular hairs, which exude a yellow secretion containing nicotine.[13]

Very varied in size, the lower leaves are the largest up to 60 cm (24 in) long, shortly stalked or unstalked, oblonged-elliptic, shortly acuminate at the apex, decurrent at the base, the following leaves decrease in size, the upper one sessile and smallest, oblong- lanceolate or elliptic.[13]

In terminal, many flowered inflorescences, the tube 5?6 cm (2.0?2.4 in) long, 5 mm (0.20 in) in diameter, expanded in the lower third (calyx) and upper third (throat), lobes broadly triangular, white-pinkish with pale violet or carmine colored tips tube yellowish white; calyx with five narrowly triangular lobes which are 1.5?2 cm (0.59?0.79 in) long.

A capsular ovoid or ellipsoid, surrounded by the persistent calyx and with a short apical beak, about 2 cm (0.79 in) long. Seeds are very numerous, very small, ovoid or kidney shaped, brown.[13]


Toxic parts

Whole plant

Nicotine deadly toxicity
All parts of the plant are poisonous[10][14][15][16]. They contain a volatile oil called nicotine, this is a virulent poison that produces nausea, vomiting, sweating, palpitations[17] and in sufficient quantity even death[5]. The nicotine of half a cigarette, when fully absorbed (which is not achieved through smoke inhalation), is sufficient to kill a fully-grown adult human[5].
The given value was not understood.

Edible uses


Please see notes on toxicity


Extracted as an Egg substitute, Protein

Material uses

Whole plant, Leaves

Extracted as an Insecticide

Whole plant



Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Tobacco has a long history of use by medical herbalists as a relaxant, though since it contains nicotine, a highly additive drug[18], it is seldom employed internally or externally at present[10][19]. The active ingredients can also be absorbed through the skin[10].

Unknown part


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.



Surface sow in a warm greenhouse about 10 weeks before the last expected spring frosts. The seed usually germinates in 10 - 20 days at 20°c. Keep the soil moist and pot up as soon as the plants are big enough to handle, planting them out after the last expected frosts.


Prefers a well-drained deep rich moist soil in a sunny position[20][21]. Plants are not very hardy in Britain, but they can be grown as biennials in areas where winter temperatures do not fall below about -5°c[21]. A polymorphic species[22]. Tobacco is very widely cultivated for its leaves, there are many named varieties[1]. As well as being used as an insecticide, the leaves are used to make cigarettes, cigars, snuff and for chewing. There are many long-term health problems associated with these uses, especially from cancer, lung, circulatory and heart diseases. The plant accumulates potassium[23]. The plant has sweetly scented flowers that release most of their scent in the evening and attract moths[24]. Plant requires more than 14 hours daylight per day in order to induce flowering[6].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Nicotiana tabacum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Nicotiana tabacum.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Nicotiana tabacum
Imported References
Edible uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    1.2 x
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

    "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    1. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (32202/01/01)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (32202/01/01)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (32202/01/01)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (32202/01/01)
    5. ? [Worldwide Botanical Knowledge Base] Worldwide Botanical Knowledge Base ()
    6. ? Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
    7. ? 7.07.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    8. ? 8.08.1 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (32202/01/01)
    9. ? Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (32202/01/01)
    10. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (32202/01/01)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Emboden. W. Narcotic Plants Studio Vista ISBN 0-289-70864-8 (32202/01/01)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (32202/01/01)
    13. ? [Nicotiana tabacum] Wikipedia (2013/05/03)
    14. ? Stary. F. Poisonous Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-35666-3 (32202/01/01)
    15. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (32202/01/01)
    16. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (32202/01/01)
    17. ? 17.017.1 Castro. M. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Macmillan. London. ISBN 0-333-55581-3 (32202/01/01)
    18. ? 18.018.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (32202/01/01)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (32202/01/01)
    20. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (32202/01/01)
    21. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
    22. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (32202/01/01)
    23. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (32202/01/01)
    24. ? Carter D. Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe. Pan ISBN 0-330-26642-x (32202/01/01)

    "image:Illustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Nicotiana tabacum"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familySolanaceae +
    Belongs to genusNicotiana +
    Has binomial nameNicotiana tabacum +
    Has common nameTobacco +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partLeaves +
    Has edible useEgg substitute + and Protein +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone8 +
    Has imageIllustration Nicotiana tabacum0.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typeAnnual +
    Has material partWhole plant + and Leaves +
    Has material useInsecticide +, Oil + and Repellent +
    Has mature height1.2 +
    Has medicinal partLeaves + and Unknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntispasmodic +, Discutient +, Diuretic +, Emetic +, Expectorant +, Irritant +, Narcotic +, Sedative +, Sialagogue +, Analgesic + and Antiseptic +
    Has primary imageIllustration_Nicotiana_tabacum0.jpg +
    Has search namenicotiana tabacum + and tobacco +
    Has seed requiring scarificationNo +
    Has seed requiring stratificationNo +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameNicotiana tabacum +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is grown fromSeed +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedYes +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF material use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedYes +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates air pollutionNo +
    Tolerates maritime exposureNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Tolerates windNo +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Nicotiana tabacum +, Nicotiana tabacum +, Nicotiana tabacum +, Nicotiana tabacum +, Nicotiana tabacum +, Nicotiana tabacum +, Nicotiana tabacum + and Nicotiana tabacum +