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Habit (N of Geraldton, WA). Image reproduced with permission from Japan Tobacco Inc. from The genus Nicotiana illustrated (1994).

Image reproduced with permission from Japan Tobacco Inc. from The genus Nicotiana illustrated (1994).

Pot grown plant. Image reproduced with permission from Japan Tobacco Inc. from The genus Nicotiana illustrated (1994).

Image reproduced with permission from Japan Tobacco Inc. from The genus Nicotiana illustrated (1994).

Image reproduced with permission from Japan Tobacco Inc. from The genus Nicotiana illustrated (1994).

Seed (AS George 11270, AD). Photo Bob Baldock.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium, May 2006. Dots outside south-west WA are erroneous or represent cultivated material.

Synonymy

Nicotiana rotundifolia Lindl., Bot. Reg. 24: misc. 59, no. 110 (1838) 

N. suaveolens var. rotundifolia (Lindl.) Comes, Monogr. Nicot. 42 (1899), fide T.H. Goodspeed, Chron. Bot. 16: 481 (1954); N. fastigiata Nees, in Lehm., Pl. Preiss. 1: 343 (1845) nom. illeg. based on N. rotundifolia Lindl.

T: Cultivated from seed from Swan River, W.A., R. Mangles s.n.; n.v. 

N. neesii Lehm. ex Nees, in Lehm., op. cit., 344, fide N.T. Burbidge, Austral. J. Bot. 8: 370 (1960). 

T: Western side of Mt Brown, York, W.A., Sept. 1839, L. Preiss 1912; ?holo: LD. 

N. rotundifolia subsp. aridicola N. T.Burb., Austral. J. Bot. 8: 370; t. 5, fig. 2; t. 6, fig. 2; t. 17, fig. 2 (1960). 

T: Pioneer Rock, N of Lake Cowan, W.A., 19 Sept. 1947, N.T. Burbidge 2668; holo: CANB.

Description

Herb to 90 cm, variably pubescent with glandular and non-glandular hairs.

Leaves mostly or all radical (cauline leaves occasionally numerous), elliptic, petiolate, the upper ones lanceolate to linear, almost sessile; lamina up to 12 (occasionally 25) cm long; petiole to 7 (sometimes to 14) cm long, narrowly winged.

Inflorescence panicle-like, few-branched. Calyx 5–13 mm long, the intersepalar membranes usually conspicuous. Corolla-tube 13–18 mm long, 1–3 mm wide at top of calyx, usually narrowed at base; limb 5–10 (occasionally to 16) mm diam., the lobes notched. Two of upper 4 anthers slightly above the other 2, the filaments to 1.3 mm long; filament of the 5th stamen 4–8 mm long, inserted in lower half of corolla-tube. Cleistogamous flowers occasionally present.

Capsule ovoid or ovoid-ellipsoid, 4–9 mm long. Seeds reniform or acutely angled; testa irregularly honeycombed or wrinkled. n=22.

Distribution and ecology

Occurs in south-western W.A.  

Grows in a variety of habitats from granite outcrops to sandy water courses, usually in shelter of boulders or trees.

Notes

There is a tendency in more westerly populations for increased leafiness of stems and more honeycombed ornamentation of the seed surface while more easterly specimens have mostly basal leaves and a serpentine ornamentation on the seed surface.

According to Pandey (1969) N. rotundifolia has flowers which are self-compatible.

Reference: Pandey, K. K. (1969) Elements of the S-gene complex V. Interspecific cross-compatibility relationships and theory of the evolution of the S complex. Genetica 40, 447-474.

A valuable summary of the cultural use of Nicotiana species in Australia is provided in D.E.Symon (2005). Native tobaccos (Solanaceae: Nicotiana spp.) in Australia and their use by Aboriginal peoples. The Beagle 21: 1-10.

Selected specimens

W.A.: 150 km E of Norseman, T.E.H. Aplin 1757 (AD, PERTH); c. 65 km W of Esperance, Hj. Eichler 20174 (AD, PERTH).

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Web links

Further information for this species in WA can be found on the FloraBase site.