Latin name Nicotiana alata is a fragrant annual flower that is a member of the tobacco family. Plants are frost sensitive. The tall plants produce long trumpet flowers, which emit a heavenly fragrance.



Native to the Americas, tobacco has been used ceremonially by ancient cultures of the Americas. The showy flowers are especially attractive to butterflies and other pollinators.


  • Ornamental.
  • Beds, borders, containers, cottage garden.
  • Visited by a few pollinators, including the hawk moth and the occasional hummingbird.




  • Seeds germinate in 7-21 days.
  • Start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost and transplant 2 weeks after last frost has passed.
  • Gardeners in long- season areas can direct sow 2 weeks after last frost.
  • Surface sow seeds and gently press into soil, as light aids germination.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 70-75 F.


  • Plants prefer full sun, though in southern locales a bit of afternoon shade is ideal.
  • Provide well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.
  • Keep plants well fed; they like highly fertile soil and regular watering.
  • Space plants 12 inches apart.
  • Deadhead to encourage continued blooming.
  • Most varieties are on the taller side, and should ideally be located in the middle and back of the landscape design.


  • A disease- and pest-free flower.


Saving sunflower seeds is very easy!

  • Plants will readily self sow but will often bloom late and are better saved and started indoors the following spring.
  • Hand pick dried seed capsules before they shatter and scatter all over the garden.
  • Save seeds in a cool, dark, dry place over winter.