Nicotiana occidentalis H.-M.Wheeler, Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 18(4): 52 (1935) subsp. occidentalis
T: Port Hedland, W.A., 11 Aug. 1911, E. Mjöberg 105; holo: NSW 47226.
Herb to 1.3 m, densely pubescent with sticky, glandular hairs.
Radical leaves elliptic; lamina up to 20 cm long; petiole to 5 (occasionally 16) cm long, broadly winged, the base usually slightly stem-clasping; cauline leaves narrower, the upper ones pandurate or lanceolate and sessile, their bases usually auriculate and somewhat stem-clasping.
Inflorescence panicle-like, few-branched; lower bracts usually leafy. Calyx 5–14 mm long, usually one third to one fifth the length of corolla-tube. Corolla-tube 25–50 mm long, 1–4 mm wide at top of calyx; limb 10–25 mm diam., the lobes notched. Upper 4 anthers at the same level, their filaments 1–5 mm long; filament of 5th stamen 3.5–6 mm long, inserted in upper half of corolla-tube. Cleistogamous flowers common, but more so in subsp. obliqua.
Capsule ovoid to ellipsoid, 7–14 mm long. Seeds usually acutely angled or reniform, occasionally C-shaped; testa irregulalry honeycombed or wrinkled. n=21.
Distribution and ecology
Restricted to coastal and near-coastal areas and adjacent offshore islands of W.A., between Port Hedland and Exmouth Gulf.
Grows mainly in sandy or rocky soils, often near creeks or in shelter of boulders or trees.
Distinct from subsp. obliqua and subsp. hesperis by the corolla-tube always exceeding 25 mm long and the upper 4 anthers all at the same level.
A valuable summary of the cultural use of Nicotiana species in Australia is provided in D.E.Symon (2005). Native tobaccos (Solanaceae: Nicotiana spp.) in Australia and their use by Aboriginal peoples. The Beagle 21: 1-10.
W.A.: Near Minilya River, A.M. Ashby 2943 (AD); Cape Range, A.S. George 2495 (PERTH); Trimouille Island, 10 Nov. 1953, G.Hill (CANB).
Further information and images for this species in WA can be found on the FloraBase site.