Nicotiana rotundifolia Lindl., Bot. Reg. 24: misc. 59, no. 110 (1838)
N. suaveolens var. rotundifolia (Lindl.) Comes, Monogr. Nicot. 42 (1899), fide T.H. Goodspeed, Chron. Bot. 16: 481 (1954); N. fastigiata Nees, in Lehm., Pl. Preiss. 1: 343 (1845) nom. illeg. based on N. rotundifolia Lindl.
T: Cultivated from seed from Swan River, W.A., R. Mangles s.n.; n.v.
N. neesii Lehm. ex Nees, in Lehm., op. cit., 344, fide N.T. Burbidge, Austral. J. Bot. 8: 370 (1960).
T: Western side of Mt Brown, York, W.A., Sept. 1839, L. Preiss 1912; ?holo: LD.
N. rotundifolia subsp. aridicola N. T.Burb., Austral. J. Bot. 8: 370; t. 5, fig. 2; t. 6, fig. 2; t. 17, fig. 2 (1960).
T: Pioneer Rock, N of Lake Cowan, W.A., 19 Sept. 1947, N.T. Burbidge 2668; holo: CANB.
Herb to 90 cm, variably pubescent with glandular and non-glandular hairs.
Leaves mostly or all radical (cauline leaves occasionally numerous), elliptic, petiolate, the upper ones lanceolate to linear, almost sessile; lamina up to 12 (occasionally 25) cm long; petiole to 7 (sometimes to 14) cm long, narrowly winged.
Inflorescence panicle-like, few-branched. Calyx 5–13 mm long, the intersepalar membranes usually conspicuous. Corolla-tube 13–18 mm long, 1–3 mm wide at top of calyx, usually narrowed at base; limb 5–10 (occasionally to 16) mm diam., the lobes notched. Two of upper 4 anthers slightly above the other 2, the filaments to 1.3 mm long; filament of the 5th stamen 4–8 mm long, inserted in lower half of corolla-tube. Cleistogamous flowers occasionally present.
Capsule ovoid or ovoid-ellipsoid, 4–9 mm long. Seeds reniform or acutely angled; testa irregularly honeycombed or wrinkled. n=22.
Distribution and ecology
Occurs in south-western W.A.
Grows in a variety of habitats from granite outcrops to sandy water courses, usually in shelter of boulders or trees.
There is a tendency in more westerly populations for increased leafiness of stems and more honeycombed ornamentation of the seed surface while more easterly specimens have mostly basal leaves and a serpentine ornamentation on the seed surface.
According to Pandey (1969) N. rotundifolia 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.
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.: 150 km E of Norseman, T.E.H. Aplin 1757 (AD, PERTH); c. 65 km W of Esperance, Hj. Eichler 20174 (AD, PERTH).
Further information for this species in WA can be found on the FloraBase site.