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Tobacco


[R] Nicotiana tabacum L. (Solanaceae).
Fr: Tabac; Ge: Tabak; Sp: Tabaco; It: Tabacco; Pt: Tabaco.
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- Tall plant with a height of 1.5 to 2 m. Originating in South America, its cultivation became widespread throughout Europe in 1560. Perennial in Mexico, it is cultivated as an annual in Europe.
-Its large leaves, rich in nicotine, are used, after drying, for making of cigars and cigarettes (*) .
- The different varieties that are cultivated are divided into two groups: flue-cured tobacco and dark tobacco.
- The seeds are planted in the spring; the seedlings are transplanted when they have 4 to 7 leaves. Cultivation of tobacco demands a great deal of attention and is very regulated: elimination of the lowest leaves, pinching-off to the stem after the regulation number of leaves (topping), suppression of any secondary branches (pruning). The plants are harvested at the end of the summer and placed in drying sheds. The leaves, once dried, are sorted with regards to their delicacy, colour and the integrity of their lamina.
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- Diseases: downy mildew (Peronospora tabacina) on the seeds or in the field, may occasionally create a serious epidemic. Other diseases have serious effects: damping-off disease (Olpidium brassicae, Pythium spp.), root rot of tobacco (Thielaviopsis basicola) and, occasionally, virus diseases. In addition, in drying sheds, tobacco can be damaged by various moulds.
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- Principal European pests: the mole (Talpa europaea) damages the seeds. The seedling stage is the most fragile and is damaged by the field slug (Deroceras reticulatum), the peach-potato aphid (Myzus persicae) and the garden swift moth (Korscheltellus lupulinus).
Mature plants are damaged by the turnip moth (Agrotis segetum), the dark sword grass moth (Agrotis ipsilon) and the (Thrips tabaci).

[R] Images

* Tobacco plant (Minost C.)
a: roots; b: leaves broad, thin and fragile, nicotin rich; c: inflorescence with pink or red flowers.


To read this page in French

HYPPZ on line: Species (scientific names), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

HYP3 : HYPP Phytopathology.

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