Solanaceae (Nightshade or Potato Family)
Desert Tobacco is also known as Wild Tobacco, "Winpuri and Coyote Tobacco" (Papago Indians language), and "Pi Va" (Hopi Indian language).
The plant is a biannual or short-lived perennial. It stands 1 to 3 feet in height. Large plants have numerous multi-branched stems arising from the base. Its preferred habitat is disturbed soils, vacant lots, trails, roadsides, flood plains, and along washes and drainages. Although not indigenous to this area, it is not unusual to find it in places where greenhouse plants and potting soils have been discarded. Distribution in the Escambia region is rare.
The oval to lance-shaped leaves are 2 to 6 inches long, clasping the stem, becoming smaller as they near the end of the flowering stem.and covered with soft, short hairs. The leaves may grow opposite or alternate on the stem. Each leaf is simple in outline, smooth-edged, oval to lance-shaped, downy, and pale- to- dark green in color.
The five-lobed, greenish-white or yellowish, trumpet-shaped flowers are about 0.5 to 1.5 inches The small, tubular, cream-colored, greenish-white flowers form at the branch end. The entire plant is sticky and covered with small hairs.long.
The Flowers are 5-lobed, white to pale yellow to greenish-white, and tubular up to 3 inches long, depending on soil and habitat. Flowers occur in March and may continue flowering through late autumn.
Fruit is capsule containing many small brown seeds.
All parts of desert tobacco contain the alkaloids nicotine
and anabasine as toxic agents.