Tobaccy in the Garden
This Nicotiana (suaveolens, I think) is a volunteer in the Ranunculus bed. We had a lovely Nicotiana volunteer on the pile last year, our only flower. So it gets a free pass from me; I'm looking forward to more scented flowers. Besides, I've been sprinkling the seeds from the Nicotiana I planted in the dahlia bed all over the place, so I would be a hypocrite if I didn't let this one stay.
Here's the Nicotiana alata I planted. It smells wonderful. (Notice the dead flowers sprinkled all around: that was me wishing for a big mass of these next year; they reseed freely.) There are a lot of more decorative or unusual Nicotiana available, but I think the best scent comes from the plain white. On the other hand, that hasn't stopped me from marking the coloured ones with a pen in the seed catalogues.
This Nicotiana langsdorfii has almost no scent at all (though perhaps it only seems that way because it is planted under lilies and next to the other Nicotiana), but I like the tight little bells of its flowers.
Visitors who are not gardeners always ask if you can smoke the leaves, and I think you can, but these were not bred for smoking, so I don't know if it would taste like smoking tobacco. It's never occurred to me to try, I must admit, because I'm not a smoker. I do know the tobacco you smoke doesn't have nearly as many flowers as this.
posted by ayse on 07/19/06Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.