Nicotiana gossei Domin, Biblioth. Bot. 89: 592; t. 36, figs 2–5 (1929)
T: `Centre of South Australia', Gosse 243; holo: K n.v., photo AD.
Leafy herb to 2 m, densely pubescent, often woolly with glandular and eglandular hairs.
Leaves mostly cauline, broadly elliptic, the upper ones narrowly elliptic, lanceolate or pandurate, auriculate and stem-clasping at base; lamina up to 35 cm long; lower leaves petiolate, the petiole to 8 cm long; upper leaves sessile.
Inflorescence panicle-like, usually few-branched; lower bracts occasionally leafy. Calyx 12–30 mm long. Corolla-tube 25–75 mm long, 1–5 mm wide at top of calyx; limb 15–35 mm diam.; lobes obtuse or occasionally shallowly notched. Upper 4 anthers at about the same level, their filaments to 5.5 mm long; filament of the 5th stamen 2–15 mm long, inserted in upper half of corolla-tube or just below middle.
Capsule ellipsoid to ovoid, 8–16 mm long. Seeds acutely angled or reniform; testa irregularly honeycombed or wrinkled. n=18.
Distribution and ecology
Restricted to ranges of southern N.T. and north-western S.A., growing in pockets of fertile, often sandy, soil, in shelter of rocks on upper slopes.
Highly prized by Aborigines as chewing tobacco and considered one of the most potent of central Australian species of Nicotiana. See P. Latz, (1996). Bushfires and Bushtucker, Aboriginal Plant Use in Central Australia. IAD Press, Alice Springs, and D. Symon (2005) Native tobaccos (Solanaceae: Nicotiana spp.) in Australia and their use by Aboriginal peoples in The Beagle 21: 1-10, for further information on this species.
According to Pandey (1969) this species has flowers which are self-compatible.
Reference: Pandey, K. K. (1969) Elements of the S-gene complex V. Interspecific cross-compatibility relationships and theory of the evolution of the S complex. Genetica 40, 447-474.
N.T.: Kings Canyon, P.K. Latz 355 (AD, MEL, NT); Longs Range, P.K. Latz 4215 (CANB, DNA, NT). S.A.: Musgrave Range, 12 Aug. 1973, Wallace (AD).
A fact sheet for this species can be downloaded from the SA eFlora site.