Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Nicotiana forsteri Roem. & Schult.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © CSIRO
Leaves and Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Roemer, J.J. & Schultes, J.A. (1819) Systema vegetabilium 4: 323. Type: New Caledonia, Isle of Pines, Forster; holo: ?.


Usually flowers and fruits as a herb about 30-50 cm tall but occasionally grows into a shrub about 1-1.5 m tall.


Leaves elliptic, leaf blades up to 25 x 14 cm with petioles about 14 cm long or sessile with the base of the leaf blade clasping the stem depending on the age of the plant and the position of the leaf on the plant.


Calyx about 4-10 mm long. Corolla tube about 10-25 mm long. Ovary conical, surrounded at the base by an orange disk.


Capsules ellipsoid to ovoid, about 5-11 mm long, enclosed in the dried remains of the calyx. Seeds small, about 0.4-0.5 mm diam, testa sculptured (rugose). Embryo about 0.4-0.5 mm long, cotyledons about as long and as wide as the radicle.


Cotyledons usually ovate, about 3-4 x 2-3 mm. First leaves +/- spathulate, apex mucronate, both the upper and lower surfaces clothed in translucent hairs. Seed germination time 10 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as south eastern New South Wales. Altitudinal range in northern Australia from near sea level to 750 m. Grows in open forest, vine thickets and monsoon forest. Also occurs in New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island.

Nicotiana debneyi Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 1147(1928), Type: Queensland: Rockingham Bay, 1868, J. Dallachy; holo: K? Fide Horton ( 1981). Nicotiana suaveolens var. parviflora Benth., Flora Australiensis 4: 470(1868), Type: Queensland and northern part of N.S. Wales.
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