Nicotiana alata var. grandiflora
Of these showy and fragrant perennials best treated
as half-hardy annuals, this is the best known,
being a native of Brazil, and sometimes offered
in seedsmen’s catalogues under Nicotiana a. affinis.
The basal leaves are wide, like those of some
Mulleins, and from these
the stems rise three to five feet, bearing a number
of tubular flowers of elegant form, widening at
the mouth with five petioles that are white in
the type with a reverse of pale violet.
There are also various forms with flowers of rose,
crimson, pink, lilac and cream.
Notable varieties are
Crimson King, two to three feet;
Crimson Border, eighteen inches;
Miniature White, eighteen inches.
Cultivated both for the beauty of the flowers
and for their fragrance, plants may be raised
from seed sown in gentle heat early in the year,
pricked off into boxes, and planted out in late
There are a number of other annual species, but
this is by far the most favoured.
Propagate from seed.
The flowering season is in late summer.
Nicotiana – Tobacco
Three to six feet.
Flowers white (also rose or purplish forms July
A fine race that may almost be called sub-tropical,
with broad-leaved vigorous growth, and flowers
with a rich and delicate scent which is quite
Nicotiana affinis, the best known
form, is a nocturnal flowerer;
all day the buds hang furled and scentless, but
with the first of the twilight it covers itself
with white, starry blossoms and fills the air
with its perfume.
The plant grows to a height of three or four feet;
its fibre is somewhat brittle, and it may need
the help of a stick or two on windy positions.
The roots are brittle, long and cord-shaped, and
when the plants are cleared away in autumn, some
pieces of the fibre are sure to remain in the
bed, and will frequently throw up new plants in
the following summer.
Nicotiana silvestris is of more
stately growth, reaching a height of six feet
or more, with broad viscous leaves.
The individual flowers are smaller than affinis,
but are produced in clusters, and though they
are at their best in the evening, remain open
during the daylight hours; they have the characteristic
scent in a less degree than affinis.
Nicotiana grandiflora purpurea
has flowers of a dull, rather bricky red- purple,
and is chiefly grown for its fine foliage.
Nicotiana Sanderæ a hybrid
with rosy-crimson flowers.
In habit this variety resembles affinis, the flowers
are of the size of those of silvestris, produced
in clusters, and are almost scentless.
The newer hybrid has been trumpeted with the customary
exaggeration of the florist’s world, and
it has by this time ceased to be the “introduction
of the century” or to “mark and epoch”
in the chronicles of garden advertisement.
Then the colour is at its best, it is a bright
rose-crimson, and well deserves a place in the
Unfortunately a packet of seed produces a large
proportion of flowers with distinctively unpleasant
tones, all tinged with something of the loathed
Nicotiana Sanderæ should be grown, but certainly
not with the expectations of enthusiasm.
All the Nicotianas should be sown on moderate
heat – a hot-bed ranging between the limits
of 43° and 65° is the best.
The seed is very minute, and must be spread thinly
and evenly on the soil in the seed-pans, lightly
covered with finely sifted sandy compost, and
very carefully watered with a fine-rosed syringe.
Prick out the seedlings when they are manageable
in boxes, or on beds of soil under glass, and
plant out eighteen inches or two feet apart at
the end of May.
All the varieties may be used for groups in mixed
borders, and they may be massed in beds on lawns,
or in front of shrubberies.
The ground should be deep and rich, and there
should be plenty of moisture; hot dry corners,
or a starved root-run are not the conditions for
growing fine Tobaccos.