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It is the best known species of the genus and is the most widely grown in the wild and in gardens for tobacco. The plant has been developed to cultivate plants with sweet medicinal properties, using the leaves for smoking, chewing, or for the production of a bright or strong colored dye. It is in the genus Nicotiana, which is a plant in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).is a genus of herbaceous plants and shrubs in the family Solanaceae, that is indigenous to the Americas, Australia, south west Africa and the South Pacific. Various Nicotiana species, commonly referred to as tobacco plants, are cultivated as ornamental garden plants. N. tabacum is grown worldwide for production of tobacco leaf for cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Nicotiana tabacum, or cultivated tobacco, is an annually grown herbaceous plant. It is found in cultivation, where it is the most commonly grown of all plants in the genus Nicotiana, and its leaves are commercially grown in many countries to be processed into tobacco. It grows to heights between 1 and 2 meters (3' to 6'). Research is ongoing into its ancestry among wild Nicotiana species, but it is believed to be a hybrid of Nicotiana sylvestris, Nicotiana tomentosiformis, and possibly Nicotiana otophora.Mexico (south-eastern): Among the ancient Maya, Nicotiana was considered a sacred plant, closely associated with deities of earth and sky, and used for both visionary and therapeutic ends.
The contemporary Tzeltal and Tzotzil Maya of Highland Chiapas (Mexico) are bearers of this ethnobotanical inheritance, preserving a rich and varied tradition of Nicotiana use and folklore. The entire tobacco plant is viewed as a primordial medicine and a powerful botanical "helper" or "protector". Depending on the condition to be treated, whole Nicotiana leaves are used alone or in combination with other herbs in the preparation of various medicinal plasters and teas. In its most common form, fresh or ‘‘green’’ leaves are ground with slaked lime to produce an intoxicating oral snuff that serves as both a protective and therapeutic agent.Deadhead spent blooms regularly to prolong the flowering season. Species nicotianas will self-seed if allowed. Grown as tender perennials, nicotianas can be overwintered outdoors in sheltered gardens. Simply cut back in autumn and mulch around the base of the plant for the best chances of regrowth the following spring. (Source: www.gardenersworld.com)