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Tree Tobacco

Nicotianna glauca

Watercolor of Nicotianna glauca copyright by Michael Plagens

Watercolor of Tree Tobacco, Nicotianna glauca from live specimen. Shown at right-center is the Broad-billed Hummingbird, a frequent visitor to the flowers.

FLOWERS: Groups of waxy, pale yellow, tubular flowers appear nearly year-round at the ends of branches and are attractive to hummingbirds.

TREE:1 to 4 m. A short-lived tree with little wood. Often produces new shoots from underground runners.

RANGE: A frequent component of riparian habitats in Arizona mostly below 1200 m elevation. Widespread elsewhere on river flood plains and in human-disturbed habitats. Probably introduced from tropical America many generations ago.

LEAVES: Large leaves with glaucus (smooth) and waxy texture. The leaves contain high concentration of nicotine.

FRUIT: Dry capsules with many seeds.

UNARMED Plant is without thorns, but is likely toxic to many potential plant-eaters.

Solanaceae -- Nightshade Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010