Desert Indian Tobacco
Common name: Desert Indian Tobacco
Latin name: Nicotiana obtusifolia
Height: < 31.5 inches
Description: Nicotiana obtusifolia is a woody perennial herb with funnel-shaped flowers which are white or green-tinged, its tubular throat up to 2.6 centimeters long.
Leaf: The leaves have blades up to 10 centimeters long, the lower ones borne on short stalks, the upper ones smaller and clasping the stem.
Range: Desert, s East of Sierra Nevada, White and Inyo Mtns.
Habitat: Gravelly or rocky washes, slopes
Elevation: < 1600 m.
Flowering time: Mar–Jun
Notes: Indians chewed and smoked Nicotiana obtusifolia and used it in powder form as snuff. It was used in rituals as well as for pleasure. Eriogonum inflatum was used as a pipe stuffed with the tobacco and smoked. Nicotiana obtusifolia is a dicot herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. This photo was taken on April 8, 2004 near Hesperia, San Bernardino, California.
We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.
Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.
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