Origin: Puerto Rico
Improvement status: Landrace
Seeds per packet: ~200
Germination tested 12/2022: 95% (below standard)
Life cycle: Annual
This is a beautiful smoking tobacco from the mountains of Puerto Rico. We got the seeds from Ariel Morales, who reports that he got them from the Puerto Rican organic seed company Desde Mi Huerto. They simply sell it as "tobacco," but the description explains that it was traditionally grown in the mountains on the island. Ariel labeled it "Puerto Rican Mountain Tobacco," and we've kept the name. It has big broad leaves, pretty pink flowers, and produces prodigious amounts of seed (like most tobaccos). This one seemed rather susceptible to tobacco budworm predation, so we had to pick off a bunch of caterpillars after the first round of flowers to ensure a good seed crop in the later rounds. It worked — so we have plenty of seed. (That's a pest we hadn't encountered before, but we also grew this crop at a friend's field 15 minutes away, so it may not be that this variety is any more susceptible, only that the pest exists there but not at our main field in Elmer.) Tobacco plants make a great trap crop for another common pest caterpillar, the "tobacco hornworm," which most gardeners find destroying their tomato plants, and sometimes peppers, eggplants, and potatoes, but which most prefers tobacco. If you grow lots of tobacco near to other nightshades, you're much less likely to deal with major predation of your edible nightshades.
NOTE: Tobacco is an intensely poisonous plant. Do not ever eat it. And we recommend you never smoke it either!