How to Grow Tobacco

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 Post subject: Native American Tobacco
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:08 pm
Posts: 43
I know that the First nations of north america grew smoked tobacco for spiritual reasons. What I want to okow is what type of tobacco did thet grow. Was it rustica?? and where did they find wild tobacco ??


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 Post subject: Re: Native American Tobacco
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
There are are over 70 species of the genus Nicotiana. Most are wild types that propagate themselves. N. tabacum and N. rustica are not wild.

From near the Isthmus of Panama up toward the northeastern parts of North America, Nicotiana rustica was cultivated for at least a thousand years (likely much longer), and the seed was apparently traded along the same axis as cultivated maize (corn). In the US desert Southwest up through the southern edge of Alaska, as well as into the Dakotas, a number of wild strains (N. biglovii, N. quadrivalvis, and others) were husbanded by tribal elders, some of whom smoked for spiritual purposes, while others smoked for pleasure [see Buffalo Bird Woman's Diary for cultivation and use of tobacco by the Hidatsa Tribe].

From the Isthmus southward, through much of South America, N. tabacum was actively cultivated for at least 2000 years. Between these two regions, mostly in southern Central America, both N. tabacum and N. rustica were cultivated.

Neither N. tabacum nor N. rustica are wild types. Uncultivated stands apparently do not spontaneously disperse their seed sufficiently to maintain an untended stand for more than a small number of years.

The origin of N. rustica is unclear. That of N. tabacum appears to have been a freak cross between N. sylvestris and N. tomentosiformis, which doubled the diploid chromosome number, and resulted in large-leafed N. tabacum, which was then propagated by humans from its origin, probably a point along the eastern slopes of the Andes.

Bob


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