Indian Tobacco is a fairly common summer annual that you might find along a woodland trail. The tiny flowers attract small bees. Due to its toxicity, this plant is not eaten by deer or rabbits.
Despite its common name, this plant should not be smoked or chewed as a substitute for tobacco. It does contain the alkaloid lobeline, which is used in anti-smoking products such as chewing gum and lozenges, but the entire plant is considered toxic. Some of its notable uses as medicine include its suitability as a sedative and to induce sweating and vomiting.
Nevertheless, it is an interesting plant that can provide some stability in new plantings until more "desirable" perennials are better established. The small flowers are actually rather showy and range in color from light blue or purple to white.
Uses: Deer resistant, bees, medicinal
Bloom time: July - October
Height: 12 to 30 inches
Space: 8 to 14 inches
Sun: Sun to shade
Moisture: Average to moist
Seeds: The tiny seeds will need light to germinate, so don't bury them; just sow them on the surface. The following seeding rates should deposit roughly 30 seeds per square foot.
- 200 seeds per packet
- 480,000 (!!) seeds per ounce
- 1/4 ounce per 4,000 square feet