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Useful Tropical Plants

Nicotiana rustica

L.

Solanaceae

+ Synonyms

Nicotiana pavoni Dunal

Nicotiana texana Maxim.

Common Name: Wild Tobacco

Nicotiana rustica
Young flowering plant in Botanical Garden KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany.
Photograph by: H. Zell
GNU Free Documentation License
Nicotiana rustica Nicotiana rustica Nicotiana rustica

General Information

Wild tobacco is an erect, branched, annual plant with a shallow but extensive root system, It usually grows up to 1.8 metres tall, but is shorter when grown away from the tropics[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The plant is a rich source of the alkaloid nicotine and has a long history of use as a medicinal plant and social stimulant. It was cultivated in the Americas well before the arrival of the Europeans and is now sometimes grown in many other parts of the world including Europe, India and China[
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.
]. It is grown predominantly for the production of nicotine: Its use for smoking has declined in most areas, with only 3% of tobacco grown being this species, though it is still popular in places such as Pakistan and N. India, where it is often combined with Nicotiana tabacum[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
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

S. America - Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.

Habitat

The original habitat is obscure. Plants are naturalized in Eastern N. America where they grow in waste places, open areas etc[
192
Title
Narcotic Plants
Publication
 
Author
Emboden. W.
Publisher
Studio Vista
Year
1979
ISBN
0-289-70864-8
Description
A lot of details about the history, chemistry and use of narcotic plants, including hallucinogens, stimulants, inebriants and hypnotics.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height1.50 m
PollinatorsLepidoptera
Cultivation StatusCultivated

Cultivation Details

A plant of tropical areas, where it can be found at elevations from sea level to about 1,800 metres[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It is also grown in subtropical and warm temperate areas. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperate falls within the range 15 - 30°c, though it can tolerate 10 - 40°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 600 - 700mm, tolerating 500 - 800mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Prefers a well-drained deep rich moist soil in a sunny position[
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]).
,
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.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6, but tolerates 5 - 7.5[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Most plants are stalk-cut at 100 - 130 days after planting. Only the hookah cultivars in India have their individual leaves harvested[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
It should be possible to obtain 1.5 - 2 tonnes per hectare of cured leaves[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
In Pakistan harvested plants of 'white pattar' or 'saffaid' are sun cured for about two weeks and turned once or twice to obtain a relatively light-coloured leaf. Harvested 'naswari' plants are left in the field for about six days to dry partially, before being gathered into heaps, which will be turned several times in the ensuing 1—2 months in a combined curing and fermentation process. The aim here is a dark, strong-smelling, rather thin tobacco. In Algeria harvested plants are wilted for a short period in the field and then air cured under roofed but open structures, often under lean-to roofs against houses or other buildings[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Edible Uses

The leaves have been dried and then chewed as a stimulant or made into snuff for sniffing, or smoked. This species contains more nicotine (between 4 - 9.5%) than Nicotiana tabacum (the species normally cultivated for cigarettes), and so has a harsher flavour[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. 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

All parts of the plant contain nicotine which is a strong narcotic[
192
Title
Narcotic Plants
Publication
 
Author
Emboden. W.
Publisher
Studio Vista
Year
1979
ISBN
0-289-70864-8
Description
A lot of details about the history, chemistry and use of narcotic plants, including hallucinogens, stimulants, inebriants and hypnotics.
].
The leaves are antispasmodic, cathartic, emetic, narcotic and sedative[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
,
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. They are used externally as a poultice and a wash in the treatment of rheumatic swelling, skin diseases and scorpion stings[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].

Other Uses

All parts of the plant contain nicotine, this has been extracted and used as an insecticide[
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.
,
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.
]. The dried leaves can also be used, they remain effective for 6 months after drying[
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.
].

Propagation

Seed - there is no dormancy, except that freshly harvested seed should be allowed a post-ripening period of 3 weeks. Surface sown, preferably in light shade, the seed usually germinates within 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.
Seed remains viable for over 10 years when stored dry and cool[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

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