Jasmine Tobacco (Nicotiana alata) is a lovely heirloom flower gaining recognition among today’s gardeners. This ornamental tobacco plant is notable for the unusual color of its evening-scented flowers, which make it popular with flower arrangers. It makes an erect bushy plant, 60-75cm/24-30in tall, covered in sticky hairs and with lax group of long-tubed flowers which open out into a star at the end, about 7,5cm/3in long. These are freely borne all summer from early to mid-summer, and are unaffected by most weather.
Nicotiana ‘Lime Green’ is a half-hardy perennial which will overwinter, if the weather is mild and flower early. But it is usually grown as an annual.
Cultivation and propagation
Sow seed in early spring, in a temperature of at least 65°F. The seed germinates in two weeks if sown on the surface of the compost and kept damp. Prick out seedlings into small pots to achieve good-sized plants before hardening off and planting out at the end of spring. Plant in a sunny, warm place where the scent can be appreciated, 30cm/12in apart. No staking is necessary.
Use of Jasmine Tobacco
Jasmine Tobacco is excellent for mid- to late summer blooming yellow/green/blue flower schemes. Mix with the blue-green leaves and white flowers of Argyranthemum frutescens, A. foeniculaceum, or Chrysanthemum maximum, or the green leaves and deep primrose flowers of Argyranthemum ‘Jamaica Primrose’, alternatively, with Alchemilla mollis as an understorey, mix with sky-blue Salvia patens, lavender, or blue Agapanthus Headbourne hybrids. Alternatively, try a low-key scheme with Eucalyptus gunnii or Ruta graveolens ‘Jackman’s Blue’.
Yellow-green is useful in a variety of color schemes, either to cool down hot colors, or sharpen paler ones.