Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Odd Names and Beautiful Blooms

I used to grow  tobaccos - both cultivars of Nicotiana alata, the most common ornamental species, and the commercially-grown Nicotiana tabacum, which can be quite decorative as well - in the first Michigan garden years ago and was always very pleased with their ease of cultivation and abundant flowering. For the little garden plot here, then, I decided to give yet another species from the genus a try and ordered some seed of woodland tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris), generally sold as 'Only the Lonely'. I am not quite sure what the deal is with that somewhat odd name. Is it a cultivar name and all the seed offered different from the wild form? Or is it a colloquial name for the plant? If so, what is it in reference to? Whatever the story behind that may be, the plants have been as easy to grow and carefree as the other tobaccos, and the first is just beginning to bloom.

Woodland tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris)

The plant now beginning to bloom is the only one planted in one of the raised beds and is a bit bigger and more advanced than all the other ones that I stuck in much tougher, drier spots at the edge of the property. However, those specimens, too, seem healthy and are progressing well, so they seem to be quite adaptable and drought-tolerant.


  1. I grew this, and it freely reseeded the following year. But the resulting plants were white blooms on regular 3 foot high nicotiana plants, which reseed year after year.

    1. Well, I guess I will see if they will reseed here as well. I think I would be very happy if they did.


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