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Seeds of Trade

 
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Product: Tobacco

Other products:  
   Tobacco belongs to these categories: Important drugs, Recreation products
   and originated in The Americas

 SUMMARY
 WILD RELATIVES
 ORIGINS
 EARLY USES
 TRANSFER AND SPREAD
 AGRICULTURE
 MODERN CONTEXT
  POST HARVEST


TOBACCO

Nicotiana tabacum L. (Solanaceae).

Given its scientific name by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753, from cultivated specimens in European gardens. By this time, it was a commonly cultivated plant all over Europe.

Native to the Andes of South America, the Spanish brought tobacco to Europe after their conquest of the New World. Christopher Columbus encountered pipe smoking when he first landed in the West Indies.

Life form: a shrub of limited age, tobacco is now grown as an annual or biennial crop.

Parts used: the leaves are used as a drug in pipes or cigarettes and as a tonic in indigenous medicine.

Ploidy level: tetraploid (an ancient hybrid of Nicotiana tomentosiformis Goodsp. and Nicotiana sylvestris Speg. & Comes).

  

Specimen from the Clifford Herbarium at the Natural History Museum, London (Nicotiana tabacum L. - Tobacco)