Nicotiana rustica - L.
Common Name Wild Tobacco, Aztec tobacco
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards All parts of the plant are poisonous[200].
Habitats The original habitat is obscure. Plants are naturalized in Eastern N. America where they grow in waste places, open areas etc[192].
Range S. America - Ecuador to Bolivia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

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Nicotiana rustica Wild Tobacco, Aztec tobacco
Nicotiana rustica Wild Tobacco, Aztec tobacco
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Nicotiana rustica is a ANNUAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Lepidoptera.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.


 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antispasmodic;  Emetic;  Narcotic;  Sedative.

All parts of the plant contain nicotine which is a strong narcotic[192]. The leaves are antispasmodic, cathartic, emetic, narcotic and sedative[240, 257]. They are used externally as a poultice and a wash in the treatment of rheumatic swelling, skin diseases and scorpion stings[240].


Other Uses

All parts of the plant contain nicotine, this has been extracted and used as an insecticide. The dried leaves can also be used, they remain effective for 6 months after drying[169]. The leaves have also been dried and then chewed as a stimulant or made into snuff for sniffing, or smoked. This species is more potent than N. tabacum (the species normally cultivated for cigarettes).
Cultivation details
Prefers a well-drained deep rich moist soil in a sunny position[1, 200]. This plant was formerly cultivated for its use as an insecticide but it has now been largely replaced by N. tabacum[46, 50, 200]. Plants require more than 14 hours daylight per day in order to induce flowering[169].
Seed - surface sow in a warm greenhouse about 10 weeks before the last expected spring frosts. The seed usually germinates in 10 - 20 days at 20°c. Keep the soil moist and pot up as soon as the plants are big enough to handle, planting them out after the last expected frosts.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Nicotiana alataTobacco, Jasmine tobacco, Nicotiana, Jasmine Tobacco, Ornamental Tobacco, Flowering Tobacco00
Nicotiana glaucaTree Tobacco12
Nicotiana tabacumTobacco, Cultivated tobacco22


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Botanical References
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Readers comment
Dr. Naveen Kumar (Plant Pathology)   Thu Jul 20 2006
Nicotiana rustica is commercially grown in Gujarat state of India, and I consider that N. tabacum can not replace N. rustica under Indian conditions.
Badger Johnson   Tue Feb 19 2008
i love this plant so much that i take it into my lungs and let the smoke carry me up to God. if you like tobacco, do yourself a favor and seek out rustica


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Subject : Nicotiana rustica  

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