Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Nicotiana obtusifolia, Desert Tobacco

Desert Tobacco is a native species in the southwestern United States. It has attractive white tubular flowers. Nicotiana obtusifolia Desert Tobacco may be an annual, biennial or perennial species. It grows to 2 ½ feet tall and blooms from March to June or throughout the year with proper rainfall. Nicotiana obtusifolia Desert Tobacco is a shrubby plant with a woody base and sticky leaves and stems from the presence of hairy glands. Nicotiana obtusifolia Desert Tobacco is a native plant common along sandy washes, gravelly or rocky washes and slopes. It may be found at elevations up to 6,000 feet. Nicotiana obtusifolia

Scientific Name: Nicotiana obtusifolia
Common Name: Desert Tobacco
Also Called: Coyote Tobacco, Tobacco Plant (Spanish: Tabaco de Coyote, Tabaquillo de Coyote, Pata de Coyote, Tabaco Papanta)
Family: Solanaceae, Nightshade or Potato Family
Synonyms: (Nicotiana trigonophylla)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual, biennial, perennial.
Size: Up to 2½ feet more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; plants shrubby, woody base; both leaves and stems are sticky from the presence of glandular hairs.
Leaves: Green; lower leaves with short broad petioles, upper leaves narrowly ovate, sessile or clasping.
Flower Color: White or whitish-cream; inflorescence linear to lanceolate bracts; flowers diurnal in a loosely branched cluster at the top; corolla tube hairy on the inside; corolla trumpet-shaped.
Flowering Season: March to June and throughout the year with adequate rainfall.
Elevation: Up to 6,000 feet, usually lower; below 5,000 feet in California.

Habitat Preferences: Common along sandy washes, gravelly or rocky washes, slopes.

Recorded Range: Nicotiana obtusifolia is found mostly in the southwestern United States in AZ, CA, MD, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT. It is also native throughout Baja California and most of Mexico. In Arizona it is found state-wide in preferred habitats.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Nicotiana obtusifolia.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.

Wetland Indicator: In North America Nicotiana obtusifolia has the following wetland designations: Arid West, FACU; Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, FACU; Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, FACU, Great Plains, FACU; Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, FACU.
FACU = Facultative Upland, usually occur in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands.

Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 22 species and 29 accepted taxa overall for Nicotiana. World wide, The Plant List includes 55 accepted species names and includes a further 42 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States, Arizona and Nevada each have 5 species of Nicotiana, in California there are 9 species, New Mexico has 4 species, Texas has 7 species and Utah has 2 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

There are 2 varieties in Nicotiana obtusifolia:
Nicotiana obtusifolia var. obtusifolia, Desert Tobacco (AZ, NV, UT);
Nicotiana obtusifolia var. palmeri, Desert Tobacco (AZ, CA, MD, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT).

Comments: In Southwest Desert Flora also see Tree Tobacco, Nicotiana glauca.

Date Profile Completed: 09/08/2016, updated format 10/04/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 09/07/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Nicotiana trigonophylla.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/07/2016).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 09/08/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 09/08/2016),7654,7659
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 09/08/2016).