Tree tobacco

Nicotiana glauca
Close up of flowers (photo: Sheldon Navie)
Flower buds (photo: Sheldon Navie)
Mature and immature fruit (photo: Sheldon Navie)
leaf underside (photo: Sheldon Navie)
Upper leaves (photo: Sheldon Navie)
Young Leaves (photo: Sheldon Navie)
Younger stem and leaves (photo: Sheldon Navie)

Nicotiana glauca is a species of wild tobacco known by the common name tree tobacco. It is an erect, often spindly, tree-like shrub to 6 m and generally grows in open and disturbed areas.

Common names 
Also known as: tobacco bush, tobacco plant, tobacco tree, tree tobacco, wild tobacco, mustard tree,
Native to South America (i.e. Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay).
Council declaration 
Class R – Reduce populations
Known distribution 

This species is very widely naturalised in Australia, particularly in the eastern and southern parts of the country. It is common in many parts of Queensland, throughout most of New South Wales and South Australia, and in western Victoria. Relatively common in the southern parts of Western Australia and the southern parts of the Northern Territory. Also present in the ACT, and in other parts of Western Australia and Victoria.


Generally prefers open disturbed land


Tree tobacco is an evergreen, soft-wooded shrub or small tree, growing up to 6 metres tall, with stems that are laxly branched

Impact and control methods 

It grows in a wide variety of open and disturbed habitats, but is mainly a problem in drier inland regions in the southern parts of the country. It has the potential to reduce biodiversity by out competing native species. Tree tobacco is known to hybridise with several closely related native species (i.e. Nicotiana suaveolens, Nicotiana simulans and Nicotiana goodspeedii). The progeny of the Nicotiana glauca and Nicotiana suaveolens cross, which occurs in Victoria, is known as Nicotiana x flinderiensis.

Stem and leaves 

Its leaves are thick and rubbery with a blue green or grey green appearence. Leaves have a roundish base curving to a pointed tip (ovate or elliptic) to 20 cm long. Leaf stalk (petiole) around 6cm.

Flowers and fruits 

It has yellow tubular flowers about 5 cm long and 1 cm wide. Flowers last for approximately 3 days and close after sunset. Flowers have no scent. 

Reproduction and dispersal 

 Tree tobacco has a high rate of fruit and seed set and seed are high viabile.

Similar species 

Nicotiana suaveolens, Nicotiana simulans and Nicotiana goodspeedii