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Habit (Meekatharra area, WA). 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 (EH Ising, AD97413282). Photo Bob Baldock.

Line drawing by P. Horton showing basal leaf and inflorescence.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium, May 2006.

Synonymy

Nicotiana simulans N. Burb., Austral. J. Bot. 8: 365; fig. 10; t. 16, fig. 1 (1960)

T: Approximately 40 miles (64 km) from Mt Willoughby towards Mabel Creek, S.A., 10 Oct. 1955, N.T. Burbidge & M. Gray 4625; holo: CANB.

Description

Herb to 1.2 m, variably pubescent with glandular hairs.  

Leaves radical and cauline, or mostly radical, the lamina up to 23 cm long and 12 cm wide; radical leaves elliptic, petiolate, the petiole to 9 cm long, narrowly to broadly winged, the base usually slightly stem-clasping; cauline leaves narrowly ovate or elliptic, petiolate, the upper ones lanceolate, sessile and slightly stem-clasping.  

Inflorescence panicle-like, few-branched; lower bracts occasionally leafy. Calyx 5–17 mm long; intersepalar membranes often conspicuous. Corolla-tube 20–40 mm long, to 3.5 mm wide at top of calyx; limb usually 10–20 mm diam., the lobes notched. Cleistogamous flowers with much shorter corolla-tube occasionally present. Two of upper 4 anthers usually above the other 2, the filaments to 5 mm long; filament of the 5th stamen 2–8 mm long, inserted in upper half of corolla-tube or half-way down.  

Capsule ovoid to ellipsoid, 5–13 mm long. Seeds reniform or acutely angled; testa usually regularly honeycombed. n=20.

Distribution and ecology

Widespread in arid areas south of the tropic, extending from the coast of W.A. to central plains of N.S.W., with an isolated occurrence in south-western Qld.  

Grows in sandy and rocky soils, usually in shelter of boulders or in litter under trees, frequently near minor water courses.

Notes

According to Pandey (1969) N. simulans 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.: 75 km S of Mundiwindi, N.T. Burbidge 6068 (PERTH). N.T.: Mulga Park Stn, P.K. Latz 5081 (AD, MEL, NT). S.A.: Bon Bon Stn, B. Lay 252 (AD). Qld: 32 km NNE of Eulo, L. Pedley 2441 (BRI). N.S.W.: Purnanga Stn, L.R. Richley 1385 (NSW).

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Web links

Further information and images of N. simulans in NSW can be seen on the PlantNET site and a fact sheet can be downloaded from the SA eFlora site.

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