Austral tobacco not common in Ballarat

NOT HERE: Austral tobacco needs milder temperatures than those of Ballarat.

NOT HERE: Austral tobacco needs milder temperatures than those of Ballarat.

I was wondering if these are Austral tobacco? We went for a walk in Werribee Gorge on the weekend and saw them in an area called the Granites.

H.M., Bacchus Marsh.

Your plant is indeed Austral tobacco. This knee-high, upright plant is not known closer to Ballarat than Bacchus Marsh and beyond Meredith. It would appear to require lighter, rockier soils and milder temperatures.

It looks like an exotic, but is one of four native tobaccos listed for Victoria. Most grow more commonly in the north-west. 

It is related to the cultivated (introduced) tobacco, whose large sticky leaves are used for smoking.

Leaves of Austral tobacco seldom exceed 20 x 4 cm. They are strongly aromatic and the attractive, white flowers are fragrant at night.

  • Questions and photos are welcome. Send to Roger Thomas at The Courier, PO Box 21, Ballarat, 3353, or email to rthomas@vic.australis.com.au