Indian Tobacco

Nicotiana quadrivalvis

Nicotiana quadrivalvis

Color: White

Common name: Indian tobacco

Latin name: Nicotiana quadrivalvis

Family: SOLANACEAE

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.


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