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annual

Woodland Tobacco

Nicotiana sylvestris

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Woodland Tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris) at Echter's Nursery & Garden Center

Woodland Tobacco in bloom

Woodland Tobacco in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spacing:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)

Other Names:  White Shooting Stars, Flowering Tobacco

Description:

This vigorous, rosette forming variety produces tall spikes of long white blooms that look like shooting stars, above large green foliage; very fragrant; a great choice for beds, borders, or containers

Ornamental Features

Woodland Tobacco features showy spikes of fragrant white star-shaped flowers with creamy white overtones rising above the foliage from early summer to mid fall. Its large pointy leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Woodland Tobacco is a dense herbaceous annual with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It is a good choice for attracting hummingbirds to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Woodland Tobacco is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Woodland Tobacco will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. Although it's not a true annual, this fast-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets.

Woodland Tobacco is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features

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