Nicotiana is a genus of annual, biennial or perennial herbs and shrubs of the nightshade family Solanaceae. It is indigenous to North and South America, Australia, southwest Africa and South Pacific. Nicotiana is commonly known as Tobacco Plant, cultivated and grown to produce tobacco. The genus name Nicotiana was named in honor of Jean Nicot (1530-1600), a French diplomat and scholar, who brought back tobacco plants to France, and introduced snuff to the French court.
N. tabacum (Cultivated Tobacco) is the most widely grown species and is grown worldwide for the production of tobacco leaves for cigarettes. It is a perennial herbaceous plant and found only in cultivation. It grows to a height of 1-2 m . Nicotiana tabacum is a native of tropical and subtropical America. It is sensitive to temeperature, air, ground humidity and the type of land. Temperatures of 20 to 30°C, atmospheric humidity of 80 to 85% and soil without a high level of nitrogen are the best for the growth of the plant. It has large green leaves and long trumpet-shaped white-pinkish flowers. All parts of the plants are sticky, covered with short viscid-glandular hairs, which exude a yellow secretion containing nicotine. The distribution of the nicotine in the mature plant is widely variable: 64% of the total nicotine exists in the leaves, 18% in the stem, 13% in the root, and 5% in the flowers.
Nicotiana alata is a species of tobacco, commonly known as Winged Tobacco and Jasmine Tobacco. It is mainly grown as an ornamental plants. It is a perennial but often grown as an annual. Nicotiana alata can grow to a height of 150 x 30 cm tall, has low drought tolerance. Its flowering season is from summer to autumn, producing flowers of lime green, red , white and yellow color. The flowers are fragrant at night.
Nicotiana has flowers that are borne in late summer to autumn, and many Nicotianas open in the evening or only when they are grown in shade. The plants also attract night-flying moths. They are best in mixed borders.
Plant Nicotiana in sun or partial shade, in moisture-retentive and well-drained soil. Propagation is by seed in spring. Grey mould and mosaic virus are known to infect Nicotiana plants.