Nicotiana tabacum | Tobacco ‘Virginia Bright Leaf’
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.
The origins of Nicotiana tabacum, or Cultivated Tobacco, are obscure; it is not known in the wild and appears to be a hybrid between Woodland Tobacco (N. sylvestris), and N. tomentosiformis, and another species, perhaps N. otophora, which was deliberately selected by humans. ‘Bright leaf’ tobaccos became popular in the early 1800’s as demand for milder and more aromatic products arose. Seeds are highly viable when sown indoors first before planting outside.
‘Virginia Bright Leaf ‘ tobacco is a warm-weather, half-hardy annual with huge light-green leaves and clusters of pink, tubular flowers. Averages 6’ in height with 18-20 leaves per plant. The leaves reach maturity when blooms appear at 55 days. The flowers release a wonderfully fragrant vanilla aroma at dusk on summer evenings which attracts hummingbirds and hawk-moths. Grows up to 7 ft tall! Hardy above ground to around 27 F.
The leaves cure to a light golden brown with yields averaging 3 oz of dried leaf per plant. Primarily used in cigarette and pipe blends. Very mild flavored.
Sun exposure: Full sun
Mature height: 5-7 ft
Mature width: 2.5-3.5 ft
Hardiness zones: All
Checkout this cool video on Cultivated Tobacco by The Herbal Jedi