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Useful Tropical Plants

Nicotiana alata

Link & Otto

Solanaceae

+ Synonyms

Nicotiana affinis Moore

Nicotiana persica Lindl.

Common Name: Sweet Tobacco

Nicotiana alata
Flowering plant
Photograph by: mystuart
Creative Commons License
Nicotiana alata Nicotiana alata Nicotiana alata

General Information

Sweet tobacco is an erect, herbaceous perennial plant growing up to 90cm tall.
Widely grown as an ornamental plant for its sweet-smelling flowers, it has also occasionally been cultivated, especially in Iran and Brazil, for the production of smoking tobacco[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

The plant contains the toxic alkaloid nicotine. Widely used in all parts of the world as a stimulant, usually by smoking the plant or chewing it, in larger doses nicotine causes vomiting, diarrhoea, slow pulse, dizziness, collapse, and respiratory failure[
293
Title
Poisonous Plants of North Carolina
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/poison.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent concise but comprehensive guide to toxic plants that grow in N. Carolina. It lists even those plants that are of very low toxicity, including several well-known food plants such as carrots and potatoes.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Southern S. America - Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil.

Habitat

Not known

Properties

Edibility Rating *
HabitPerennial
Height0.75 m
PollinatorsBees, lepidoptera
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental

Cultivation Details

A plant mainly of the subtropics, it can also be grown in tropical areas, though it requires more than 14 hours daylight per day to induce flowering[
169
Title
A Weavers Garden.
Publication
 
Author
Buchanan. R.
Publisher
McGraw-Hill Contemporary
Year
1987
ISBN
0934026289
Description
Covers all aspects of growing your own clothes, from fibre plants to dyes.
].
Prefers a well-drained deep rich moist soil in a sunny position or light shade[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
108
Title
Garden Plants Valuable to Bees.
Publication
 
Author
International Bee Research Association.
Publisher
International Bee Research Association.
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
The title says it all.
,
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].
A very ornamental plant[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
], it has sweetly scented flowers that release most of their scent in the evening and attract moths[
30
Title
Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe.
Publication
 
Author
Carter D.
Publisher
Pan
Year
1982
ISBN
0-330-26642-x
Description
An excellent book on Lepidoptera, it also lists their favourite food plants.
].
The plant is susceptible to viruses that are common to other cultivated members of the Solanaceae. It should not, therefore, be grown close to plants such as potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, huckleberries etc[
352
Title
KemperCentreForHomeGardeningPlantFinder
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic cultivation details, plant uses, habitat etc for several thousand species of plants, mainly from the temperate zone.
].

Edible Uses

The plant contains nicotine and is sometimes used for smoking and as a masticatory[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. Although used extensively for recreational purposes, tobacco frequently causes pathological conditions and death[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

All parts of the plant contain nicotine, this has been extracted and used as an insecticide.

Propagation

Seed - surface sown 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 when large enough.

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