Saturday, May 8, 2010

Desert Tobacco

Desert tobacco (Nicotiana obtusifolia)
is part of the nightshade family.
It is one to three feet in height and large plants have multi-branched stems. It has tubular, five-lobed, cream-colored, greenish-white to pale yellow flowers
that form at the end of the branches that are about 3/4" long.
It has dark green, smooth-edged, oval to lance-shaped leaves up to 6" long.
The entire plant is sticky and covered with small hairs.
It is usually found in sandy washes. All parts of the plant are poisonous and it is considered highly toxic to livestock.
It is found east of the Sierra Nevada and into the southeastern California deserts, to Nevada, Utah, over to Texas and south in to Mexico.
The plants in these photographs were found on the bajada at the edge of the Eagle Mountains off the Hayfield Road exit off the I-10, the southern edge of Joshua Tree National Park.

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