Nicotiana Glauca

This is not a blog post. It is a summary of a theory that I have researched and found to be a phenomenon.
Nicotiana glauca is extremely similar to tobacco and is very likely growing alongside Nicotiana tobacum in the wild, as has been related to me.
Very likely over 100 years ago smoking tobacco has grown on crude plantations in south America.
Unfinished cigarettes, aka cigarette butts, containing small seeds of both plants, had been thrown out, spreading the plants throughout the world.
The harshness of the pre-20-th century smoking tobacco was also compounded by the presence of the N. Glauca that grew interspersed with N. tabacum.
Interesting to note that the most indigenous growth of N. Glauca is in Bolivia, and is bountiful as confirmed by many iNaturalist observations.
According to some sources in USA that related this to me directly, the invasive spread of N. Glauca in California and Arizona is supported by the continuous influx of tobacco imported as cigarettes or cut leaves from Mexico and Bolivia.
The similar spread of the plant in the Mediterranean basin started in 17-th century with the introduction of smoking tobacco by the Spanish into their country. The appearance in Israel may have been low-frequency up until 21-th century, and has increased greatly. According to the model of cigarette litter mentioned above, the N. Glauca is spread by smokers of the low-cost, generic brand cigarettes that contain opportunistic blends from low-cost sources. These are open to N. Tabacum harvests containing companion N. Glauca. Nearly 100% of construction workforce in Israel is Arabs, who enjoy the freedom of purchasing from the unregulated cigarette vendors. Indeed, nearly 99% of my own N. Glauca observations are found in the area of past construction.
Next on the wish list is enough time to do a microscopic analysis of tobacco seeds found in disposed cigarette butts, and direct observation of the seeds from both species.

Posted on 10 December, 2019 20:35 by bobasil bobasil


Very interesting ! Thanks. N Glauca grows around villages and towns here in Botswana but have never seen N tabacum growing. If the source was seeds from fag ends, would we not see more N. tabacum plants than N. Glauca growing during the rainy season. Is N. Glauca more hardy so it can survive even in the Kalahari ? I will now start searching for N.Glauca plants and posting from Botswana.

Posted by botswanabugs over 4 years ago

Hello! N. Tabacum has undergone so much selection and maybe genetic engineering that it is ltierally designed to flourish for just one harvesting season. It grows no bigger than a large turnip plant. N. Glauca is very hardy, and if left alone, will develop into a a tall tree. The commercial n. Tabacum can barely sprout, and then needs plenty of TLC it was designed to get from a farmer. More research is necessary though. Thanks!

Posted by bobasil over 4 years ago

Thanks @bobasil. let me find out if N Glauca is grown as a traditional medicine here despite being quite toxic.

Posted by botswanabugs over 4 years ago

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