Common name: Indian tobacco
Latin name: Nicotiana quadrivalvis
Height: 1-6.5 feet
Description: Nicotiana quadrivalvis is a bushy, sprawling annual herb. The inflorescence is an array of several white, greenish, or purple-tinged flowers with tubular throats up to 5 centimeters long. The base of each is enclosed in a ridged calyx of sepals. The flower face may be 5 centimeters wide. The fruit is a capsule up to 2 centimeters in length.
Leaf: The lower leaf blades are up to 15 centimeters long and are borne on short stalks, the upper smaller and without a stalk on the stem.
Range: Mojave Desert, California Floristic Province, uncommon in East of Sierra Nevada,
Habitat: Open, well-drained washes, slopes
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Flowering time: May–Oct
Notes: N. quadrivalvis was cultivated by indigenous peoples living on the west coast of North America, in particular southern Oregon and northern California, and along the middle Columbia River. Individually owned plots of tobacco plants were seeded with the previous year's seed capsules, tilled and weeded and fertilized in the fall by mixing in rotten wood after the harvest. Nicotiana quadrivalvis is a dicot that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. Distribution outside California: to Washington, c US. Horticulture: Given excellent drainage (modification of compacted or other water-holding soils may be necessary) and full or nearly full sun (tolerates summer afternoon sun), grows especially well in zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24.
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.
Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...
What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports
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