Wild tobacco

Wild tobacco

Nicotiana glauca (Solanaceae)

Common Name:

Wild tobacco

Scientific Name:

Nicotiana glauca (Solanaceae)

Alternative common names:

Coneton; Mexican tobacco; mustard tree; tree tobacco (English); Jan-tak; tabakboom; wildetabak; volstruisgifboom (Afrikaans), mohlafotha (Sesotho), tabaka bume (Setswana) 


An evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to 6m high with blue-green, leathery leaves, sometimes with purplish tints. Yellow, tubular flowers appear in terminal, drooping clusters all year. Brown, four-valved fruit capsules contain tiny seeds. This plant is poisonous.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

South America

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA - Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

All provinces of South Africa

How does it spread?

Seed dispersal.

Why is it a problem?

Competes with pioneering indigenous species. Can form dense and extensive stands along watercourses after flooding; this is of particular concern in conservation areas such as the Kruger National Park. Unpalatable and poisonous to domestic and wild animals.

What does it look like?

General description: Evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to 6m high.
Leaves: Blue-green, leathery leaves sometimes with purplish tints and smooth margins.
Flowers: Yellow, tubular flowers in terminal, drooping clusters appear throughout the year.
Fruit/seeds: Brown, four-valved fruit capsules with tiny seeds

Does the plant have any uses?

Garden ornament.

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