NICOTIANA Flowering Tobacco
(Named for Jean Nicot, French consul to Portugal, who first presented tobacco to the courts of Portugal and France)
The evening fragrance of the flowers of this plant is most delightful. Besides this, the flowers are attractive in form and color, which ranges from pure and creamy white, to deep pink, violet, crimson, and flesh. The shades are of the same soft tones as are found in the best Stocks. The flowers are borne in great profusion upon flower stems at least 3 feet tall. The leaves are usually abundant and form a cluster about the base of the plants.
Species. Jasmine Tobacco. Nicoliana alata var. affinis. This sort has large fragrant flowers open at night but closing in cloudy weather. The leaves extend down to make winged branches.
Nicoliana sylvesfris. The flowers are drooping, in short head-like clusters, corolla entirely white unlike N. alata, which is yellowish outside. They remain open all day.
Sander T. Nicotiana sanderae (N. forgetiana x N. alata) is the red-flowered sort with the five lobes of the corolla rounded, not acutely pointed.
Where to Plant. Few writers can resist advising amateur gardeners to plant masses of these flowers where the evening breezes will blow their fragrance toward a porch. They are slender in growth and are seen to advantage when given a background of taller annuals. Combined with Cosmos, they make a good bed.
GENERAL. The seed is very tiny and should be sown carefully. As the seedlings make a slow growth under cold conditions, it is wise to start them in the hotbed or sunny window. The soil should be finely pulverized and well enriched in order to produce tall plants and large flowers. The plants often self-sow, so that the plants practically become perennials.
Nicotianas grow in sun or partial shade and are not particular as to the soil.