Nicotiana glauca, Tobacco Tree,
Hebrew: טבק השיח, Arabic: تمباك بري

Scientific name:  Nicotiana glauca Graham
Common name:  Tobacco Tree
Hebrew name:   טבק השיח
Arabic name:  تمباك بري
Family:  Solanaceae, סולניים

Flora of Israel, Bloemen in Israel

Life form:  Tree
Stems:  2-4m
Leaves:  Alternate, glabrous, glaucous; elliptical to lanceolate, acute
Inflorescence:  Lax panicle
Flowers:  Calyx tubular, teeth triagular, acute, equal; corolla 30-40mm, tubular, yellow; limb 2-4mm with short lobes
Fruits / pods:  Capsule
Flowering Period:  May, June, July, August, September
Habitat:  Disturbed habitats
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts
Chorotype:   Plurireginalbor-trop
Summer shedding:  Perenating

Nicotiana glauca, Tobacco Tree, טבק השיח


Derivation of the botanical name:
Nicotiana, named after Jean Nicot (1530-1600), a French diplomat, who is said to have introduced tobacco to Europe. He introduced snuff (powdered tobacco that is sniffed up the nostril) to the French court.
glauca Greek, glaucus, γλαυκοϛ, bright, sparkling, gleaming; grayish, bluish-green (for plants, a white bloom on a leaf giving a gray-green appearance), referring to the powdery coating on this plant.
  • The standard author abbreviation Graham is used to indicate Robert Graham (1786 – 1845), a Scottish botanist and physician.
The leaves of the Nicotiana glauca are large, alternate, petiole, ovate, and blue-green in color with that powdery coating, which are smoked for ritual purposes by Navajo Indians.
Nicotiana glauca is being studied to be used as a treatment for nicotine addiction since it does not contain nicotine, but analog alcaloides (anabasine [insecticide]).
It has tubular yellow flowers that appear between April and October.
The nectar of the Nicotiana generates high levels of hydrogen peroxide, which protect flower parts from fungal infection.
The flowers attract the Palestine sunbirds (Nectarinia Osea), important nectar consumers and pollinators of the Nicotiana glauca.

Nicotiana glauca, Tobacco Tree, טבק השיח