Flowering Tobacco – Nicotiana alata

Flowering Tobacco – Nicotiana alata

Common Name: Flowering Tobacco

Botanical Name: Nicotiana alata, ni-ko-shi-AH-na a-LAY-ta

Decorative Life: 5-10 days.

Flower Color: , , , ,

Availability:

Harvest Instructions:

Growers should try anti-yellowing products that contain benzyladenine and/or gibberellins. In addition, growers who use growth retardants to keep plant growth in check may also be delaying leaf yellowing.

Family Roots:
  • Member of the Solanaceae (nightshade family).
  • Native to North Central and South America.
  • Common relatives include tobacco, eggplant, petunia, pepper, butterfly-flower, Nierembergia, painted-tongue, Browallia, tomato and potato.
Personality:
  • Species is classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
  • Flowers tubular, flaring to five-pointed lobes, in ranked clusters at stem ends.
  • Stems with oval, soft leaves.
  • Flowers are mostly fragrant.
Tidbits:
  • Nicotiana: named for Jean Nicot, 1530-1600, French counsel to Portugal, who is said to have first presented tobacco to the courts of Portugal and France.
  • The specific epithet name “alata” means winged, in reference to the shape of the stems.
  • This family has many poisonous members including the common weed, deadly nightshade, and the green skin of potatoes. On the other hand, it is a source of many commercial foods including potato, tomato, pepper and eggplant. Tobacco also is a member.
  • An example of a favorite cultivar and its respective flower colors is ‘Domino’ (red, picotee and more).
Recent Research Findings:

In response to a virus attack, Knoester et al. (2001) showed that the resulting ethylene production actually stimulates protective mechanisms against the virus in non-infected plant parts.

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