Habit  (Dalhousie Springs, SA). Photo: W.R. Barker W.R. Barker

Habit  (Dalhousie Springs, SA). Photo: W.R. Barker W.R. Barker

Habit  (Dalhousie Springs, SA). Photo: W.R. Barker W.R. Barker

Illustration by Gilbert Dashorst from Flora of South Australia (1986), fig. 568.

Seed (DE Symon 14457, AD). Photo  Bob Baldock.

Distribution map generated from Australia's Virtual Herbarium, May 2006.


Nicotiana burbidgeae Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 7: 117–121 (1984) 

T: S.A., south east of Dalhousie Springs complex, S.A., D.E. Symon 9294; AD, holo: AD; iso: AD ex ADW, CANB, L, MO, NT.

Nicotiana benthamiana auct. non Domin: Purdie et al., Fl. Austral. 29: 48 (1982), p.p.


Erect leafy herb to at least 75 cm high with several branches near base, ? annual or short lived perennial, lower stems distinctly woody, to 1.5 cm diam. Indumentum on all parts abundant, minute, erect, gland-tipped hairs, some of those on calyx with swollen hemispherical bases.

Leaves mostly cauline, basal ones to 10 x 7 cm, oval, apex obtuse, base broadly attached, sub-cordate, sessile, leaves of the middle stem region to 6 x 3 cm, rather more obovate, those of the flowering stem region commonly cordate-deltoid, gradually decreasing in size upwards, all rather thick and relatively fleshy.  

Inflorescence of solitary interfoliar flowers distributed along upper parts of leafy stems; pedicels to 12 mm in fruit with distinct articulation at base. Calyx to 2 cm long; lobes lanceolate, the upper ¼ free, middle region joined by a distinct intersepalar membrane which extends almost to base of calyx. Corolla tube 4–7 cm long, rather variable, c. 2.5 mm wide at top of calyx, tube proper slightly enlarged around ovary, throat cylinder narrowly tapered upwards to 3–3.5 mm diam., throat cup 5 mm long, symmetrical, marked with green veins which extend to limb; corolla limb to 5 cm diam. (closing in bright light), lobes broadly triangular, fused for more than half their length, slightly emarginate at junction of interacuminal membranes forming a pentagonal limb, mid-veins green below. Upper 4 stamens subdidynamous in throat cup, fifth stamen c. 12 mm below the upper four, free filament, c. 1.5 cm long; ovary c. 5 mm long, broadly conical, subtended by an orange, fleshy disc; style variable in length to 7 cm long exceeding anthers (see note below), stigma terminal, discoid.  

Mature capsule c. 12 mm long, about equal to enveloping calyx, narrowly ovate to oblong, dehiscing by 2 major and 2 minor fissures. Seeds c. 1 mm long, reniform, testa with serpentine wrinkles. n = 21.

Distribution and ecology

So far only collected in the general area of the Dalhousie Springs, S.A. where it grows along arid creeklines that may be subsaline and gypseous.


Mentioned in the earlier treatment, Fl. Australia 29: 50 (1981), as a variant of N. benthamiana from Dalhousie Springs.

In South Australia classified as Vulnerable under Schedule 8 of the National Parks & Wildlife Act 1972

Selected specimens

S.A.: Near Dalhousie Ruins, J. Z. Weber 9350 (BRI, DNA, MHA, PRE, RSA, ZT).


Web links

A fact sheet for this species can be downloaded from the SA eFlora site.

Information about the habitat of N. burbidgeae can be seen at