There are many species of Tobacco (Nicotiana species) all of which are native to the Americas. Tobacco has been cultivated in the Americas for several thousand years for its medicinal, ceremonial & social benefits.
Unlike other plants in the garden, Tobacco is an annual & needs to be seeded every year. The species we grew this year are two heirloom species from Heritage Harvest See
ds in MB; One Sucker Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and Mandan or Indian Tobacco (N. quadrivalvis). One Sucker Tobacco is the commonly cultivated species and there are many varieties of this species as it was bred over the centuries for better crops. The flowers of this species are a pinky red. Mandan tobacco was grown by Indigenous groups like the Mandan in the Dakotas and is easily grown in short season areas like Alberta. The flowers of this species are white.
Several people at StMU grew tobacco for us this spring. Some of them grew really large in pots! Some smaller plants have just been transplanted from another garden this week into the medicine garden. Although it’s hard to entirely avoid root damage from transplanting, with care it can be minimized and it’s important to replant them immediately, water thoroughly and protect from sun while they regrow their roots. Large pots are perfect for shading plants during this time and the holes help with airflow.
Check out the tobacco plants as they grow and flower – some will be Mandan Tobacco and some are One Sucker Tobacco.
Later in the summer we will harvest the leaves to dry and harvest the seeds to share with others.