( Nicotiana   ) is a  genus of herbaceous plants and shrubs of the family Solanaceae, that is indigenous to the Americas, Australia, south west Africa and the South Pacific. Various Nicotiana species, commonly referred to as tobacco plants, are cultivated as ornamental garden plants. is grown worldwide for production of tobacco leaf for N. tabacum cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Cross section of a tobacco inflorescence
The 67 species include;
Nicotiana acuminata (Graham) – manyflower tobacco Hook. 
Nicotiana africana Merxm. 
Nicotiana alata – winged tobacco, jasmine tobacco, Link & Otto tanbaku ( Persian) 
Nicotiana attenuata – coyote tobacco Torrey ex S. Watson 
Nicotiana benthamiana Domin 
Nicotiana clevelandii A. Gray 
Nicotiana exigua H.-M. Wheeler 
Nicotiana glauca Graham – tree tobacco, Brazilian tree tobacco, shrub tobacco, mustard tree 
Nicotiana glutinosa L.
Nicotiana langsdorffii Weinm. 
Nicotiana longiflora Cav. 
Nicotiana occidentalis H.-M. Wheeler 
Nicotiana obtusifolia – desert tobacco, M. Martens & Galeotti punche, "tabaquillo" > 
Nicotiana otophora Griseb. 
Nicotiana plumbaginifolia Viv.
Nicotiana quadrivalvis Pursh
Nicotiana rustica L. – Aztec tobacco, mapacho 
Nicotiana suaveolens – Australian tobacco Lehm. 
Nicotiana sylvestris Speg. & Comes – South American tobacco, woodland tobacco 
Nicotiana tabacum L. – commercial tobacco grown for the production of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, etc.  Nicotiana tomentosiformis Goodsp. 
Formerly placed here
nicotiana (as well as ) was named in honor of nicotine Jean Nicot, French ambassador to Portugal, who in 1559 sent it as a medicine to the court of Catherine de' Medici.
Despite containing enough
nicotine and/or other compounds such as germacrene and anabasine and other piperidine alkaloids (varying between species) to deter most herbivores, a number of such animals have  evolved the ability to feed on Nicotiana species without being harmed. Nonetheless, tobacco is unpalatable to many species and therefore some tobacco plants (chiefly tree tobacco, ) have become established as N. glauca invasive species in some places.
In the 19th century, young tobacco plantings came under increasing attack from
flea beetles ( and/or Epitrix cucumeris Epitrix pubescens), causing destruction of half the United States tobacco crop in 1876. In the years afterward, many experiments were attempted and discussed to control the flea beetle. By 1880, it was discovered that covering young plants with a frame covered with thin fabric (instead of with branches, as had previously been used for frost control) would effectively protect plants from the beetle. This practice spread until it became ubiquitous in the 1890s.
Lepidoptera whose caterpillars feed on Nicotiana include:
Dark sword-grass or black cutworm, Agrotis ipsilon
Turnip moth, Agrotis segetum
Mouse moth, Amphipyra tragopoginis
The nutmeg, Discestra trifolii
Blackburn's sphinx moth, Manduca blackburni
Tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta
Tomato hornworm, Manduca quinquemaculata
Cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae
Angle shades, Phlogophora meticulosa
Setaceous Hebrew character, Xestia c-nigrum
Cabbage looper, Trichoplusia ni  Fall armyworm
These are mainly
Noctuidae and some Sphingidae.
Several species of
Nicotiana, such as N. sylvestris,  N. alata 'Lime Green'  and  N. langsdorffii are grown as ornamental plants, often under the name of flowering tobacco.  They are popular  vespertines (evening bloomers), their sweet-smelling flowers opening in the evening to be visited by hawkmoths and other pollinators. In temperate climates they behave as annuals ( hardiness 9a-11).
The  hybrid cultivars Domino Series and 'Lime Green'  have gained the  Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
Garden varieties are derived from
N. alata (e.g. 'Niki' and 'Saratoga' series) and more recently from (e.g. 'Perfume' and 'Domino' series). Nicotiana x sanderae
The tobacco budworm (
) has proven to be a massive pest of many species in the genus, and has resisted many attempts at management. Heliothis virescens
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Bot, Ann (2003). Molecular Systematics, GISH and the Origin of Hybrid Taxa in Nicotiana (Solanaceae). 92. pp. 107–127. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcg087.
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Panter, KE; Keeler, RF; Bunch, TD; Callan, RJ (1990). "Congenital skeletal malformations and cleft palate induced in goats by ingestion of Lupinus, Conium and Nicotiana species". Toxicon. 28 (12): 1377–1385. PMID 2089736.
^ United States. Agricultural Research Service (1984),
, U.S. States Dept. of Agriculture, retrieved 25 September 2017 Suppression and Management of Cabbage Looper Populations
RHS: Nicotiniana sylvestris
Fine Gardening: Nicotiana alata
^ a b
"Nicotiana 'Lime Green. '" RHS Gardening . Retrieved . July 23, 2014
^ a b
The National Garden Bureau
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Panter, K.E.; Keeler, R.F.; Bunch, T.D. & Callan, R.J. (1990): Congenital skeletal malformations and cleft palate induced in goats by ingestion of Lupinus, Conium and Nicotiana species. Toxicon 28 (12): 1377-1385. (HTML abstract) PMID 2089736 Ren, Nan & Timko, Michael P. (2001): AFLP analysis of genetic polymorphism and evolutionary relationships among cultivated and wild Nicotiana species. Genome 44(4): 559-571. doi: 10.1139/gen-44-4-559 PDF fulltext
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