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Desert Tobacco

Nicotinia obtusifolia

Out of stock

1 gallon

Plant Care

Native region:

Local Native

Water needs:



Mature size:

Growth rate:

Full Sun



Flower color:

Flower season:


Greenish White - Pale Yellow






Nectar pollinators:


Nighttime pollinators:


Rabbit resistant:


This bush-like plant gets up to three feet high and blossoms with trumpet-shaped greenish-white to pale yellow flowers. The large leaves are an oblong green. The seed capsules contain many small brown seeds. The entire plant is sticky and covered with small hairs.
Desert tobacco can be found throughout the Southwest at elevations below 5,000 feet. It is common along sandy washes, gravelly or rocky washes, and slopes, favoring disturbed ground. With supplemental irrigation, it will bloom year-round.
This plant is in the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family, a family which contains some very poisonous plants like Sacred Datura and very delicious such as potatoes, tomatoes, and chili peppers. So if you have a pet that is an indiscriminate eater, beware of this choice.
Also once called Punche ("a punch") by Spanish Americans, who carefully tended it for tobacco and medicinal use, it is still smoked by native peoples in traditional ceremonies.

Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information

The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others! 


Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.


Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.

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