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nicotiana

nicotiana (nĬkō´shēā´nə), any plant of the genus Nicotiana of the family Solanaceae (nightshade family). Most species are herbs native to tropical America, although there are a few North American species and several others in the S Pacific, Australia and SW Africa. Many are cultivated for their fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers, which usually open at night. Commercial tobacco is obtained chiefly from the leaves of Nicotiana tabacum. The smaller plant cultivated and smoked by Native Americans of E United States before the arrival of white men is N. rustica. It and other nicotianas are used for making insecticides as well as for smoking. Nicotiana is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Polemoniales, family Solanaceae.

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Nicotiana

Nicotiana (tobacco; family Solanaceae) A genus of annual and perennial herbs whose leaves are of varying shape, without stipules. The flowers are regular and composed of 5 sepals and 5 petals fused to form a tube. The stamens are attached to the corolla, the ovary is superior with 2 fused carpels and 1 style. The fruit is a berry with seeds containing a copious endosperm. N. tabacum is the cultivated tobacco. Many species contain the highly toxic alkaloid nicotine, which is a powerful insecticide. Some species are cultivated for their bright flowers. There are 67 species, and the genus is represented in Australia, the south Pacific, subtropical regions of N. and S. America, and in south-western Africa.

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