Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Nicotiana attenuata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: SolanaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, generally petioled; stipules 0; blade entire to deeply lobed. Inflorescence: various. Flower: bisexual; calyx lobes generally 5; corolla +- radial, cylindric to rotate, lobes generally 5; stamens 5, on corolla tube, alternate lobes; ovary superior, generally 2-chambered, style 1. Fruit: berry, loculicidal or septicidal capsule, [(drupe)], 2--5-chambered.
Genera In Family: 75 genera, 3000 species: worldwide, especially +- tropics; many alien weeds in California; many cultivated for food, drugs, or ornamental (potato, tomato, peppers, tobacco, petunia). Toxicity: many TOXIC. Note: Nicandra physalodes (L.) Gaertn. is a waif.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael H. Nee
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: NicotianaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: TOBACCO
Habit: Annual to small tree. Leaf: +- basal or not; margin entire, +- wavy or not. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle, terminal; lower bracts leaf-like. Flower: calyx 5-lobed, +- enlarging, not fully enclosing fruit; corolla generally radial, generally funnel-shaped to salverform; stamens 5, equal or 1 smaller. Fruit: septicidal capsule. Seed: many, minute, angled.
Etymology: (J. Nicot, said to have introduced tobacco to Eur, 1530--1600) Toxicity: Seriously TOXIC to livestock.
Unabridged Reference: Goodspeed 1954 Chron Bot 16:1--536
Nicotiana attenuata Torr. ex S. Watson.
Habit: Annual 5--15 dm, +- glandular-hairy. Leaf: 3--10 cm, petioled; basal elliptic to ovate; cauline reduced. Inflorescence: bracts < 30 mm, linear. Flower: calyx 6--10 mm, lobes < tube, +- equal, triangular, acute, pock-marked; corolla +- salverform, tube 20--27 mm, +- green, pink-tinged, limb 4--8 mm wide, white; stamens unequal, attached below tube middle. Fruit: 8--12 mm.
Ecology: Open, well-drained slopes; Elevation: 200--3000 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA (exc coast); Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Montana, New Mexico, northwestern Mexico. Flowering Time: May--Oct
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael H. Nee
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Nicotiana acuminata var. multiflora
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Botanical illustration including Nicotiana attenuata

botanical illustration including Nicotiana attenuata

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Citation for this treatment: Michael H. Nee 2012, Nicotiana attenuata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 22, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 22, 2023.

Nicotiana attenuata
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© 1998 Larry Blakely
Nicotiana attenuata
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© 2022 Neal Kramer
Nicotiana attenuata
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© 2015 Neal Kramer
Nicotiana attenuata
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© 2007 Steve Matson
Nicotiana attenuata
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© 2007 Steve Matson
Nicotiana attenuata
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© 1982 Gary A. Monroe

More photos of Nicotiana attenuata in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Nicotiana attenuata:
CA (exc coast)
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).