Nicotiana alata | Flowering Tobacco (Jasmine tobacco)
There are over 65 species of Tobacco that hail from Australia, North America, and tropical South America. They are attractive plants with beautiful flowers and appealing foliage. All of them have tubular or trumpet-shaped flowers that come in nearly every color and most often open during the evening and and nighttime hours, sometimes releasing a pleasant fragrance. They can be used as specimen or bedding plants, in borders, woodland gardens, in containers, or for planting in masses or even as a focal point.
Nicotiana alata, commonly called flowering tobacco, jasmine tobacco, or winged tobacco (alata means winged), is native from southern Brazil to northeastern Argentina. Plants produce tall, graceful stems with white nodding flowers with starry faces that open only at night and exude a soft, sweet perfume that peaks at dusk on warm nights, attracting exotic pollinators and domestic gardeners to its calming presence.
Bloom starts in July and carries on into autumn if sited in a protected spot. These 2.5-4 ft plants stand up to rough weather without staking and are not fussy about soil. A half day of sun is plenty, which makes it easy to tuck them in near a door or window, so that you may enjoy the perfume indoors. Makes a great addition to cottage gardens, summer borders, and containers.
Nicotiana alata is the species from which most of the modern shorter hybrids are derived, but to many folks the best form is still the original species, Nicotiana alata. It’s taller, far more natural looking, free flowering and highly fragrant. The true species has greenish-white flowers.
Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost, or direct sow outdoors after last frost. Do not cover tiny seeds with soil. Needs light, humidity and heat to germinate.
Attracts bees, moths and hummingbirds. Deer resistant.
Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
Mature height: 2.5-4 ft
Mature width: 2.5 ft
Hardiness zones: 10-11
Please note: All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. All tobaccos should be considered poisonous to consume (smoking brings its own risks); some are extremely poisonous and have caused fatalities. Poisoning through intentional or accidental misuse of nicotine and products containing it is a relatively common occurrence. Related species may contain other toxic alkaloids, chemically similar to nicotine, so it is for this reason we suggest that you enjoy Jasmine Tobacco and other ornamental species of tobacco for their flowers only. Do NOT smoke these leaves.