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Nicotiana Rustica (MAPACHO)
(Sacred tobacco/ Aztec Tobacco)
You are bidding on 400 high quality Nicotiana rustica. It is a member of the solonaceae family along with datura, nightshade, potatoes and tomatoes. It typically grows to about 4 feet, forming sticky leaves and yellow flower clusters. It has the highest levels of nicotine of any tobacco species, potentially containing up to twenty times more then N. tabacum, the species used in commercial cigarettes. At such levels, N. rustica is not an ideal for smoking because of the risk of fatal overdose. However, Aztecs and other Native Americans who considered this plant to be sacred would indulge in smoking N. rustica to achieve mind alteration primarily for ceremonial purposes and occasionally for recreation. N. rustica was also ingested by chewing, snuffing or as an enema. Additionally, it was used to treat bruises, sprains, infected wounds and to treat baldness. Today it is grown as an ornamental and also used as an insecticide against infestations of aphids, spider mites and other tiny pests.
Seeds should be surface sown in fertile, well-draining loam in full sun. They are best off being direct sown after any danger of frost or sown in trofts outside and transplanted to the ground when about two inches tall. They can also be started indoors for an early start. Thin plants to about a foot apart, and cut off the flowering tops to increase leaf size. Regular fertilization is recommended.