Nicotiana glutinosa (glutinosa = sticky, glutinous)
There are many beautiful Nicotianas out there in the world and this is one of them. This plant grows like N. slyvestris; it is tall, with big leaves and long arching branches that are covered in small pink flowers. Nicotiana is Tobacco and is in the Solanaceae family, the nightshades, which includes the beloved tomato, pepper, eggplant, potato and petunia. Because of their close relations, they share quite a few diseases, such as the tobacco mosaic virus. At a farm down the road smokers are not permitted to work in the tomato greenhouse because the virus spreads from tobacco, to hands, to tomato plants. This virus does not kill the plant, but it does reduce crop yields and since an organic tomato sell for quite a lot around here, that can be fairly damaging. The other nasty pest that these plants share is the dreaded tomato hornworm and we recently found them chowing down on the above Nicotiana specimen. These caterpillars are crazy horned creatures and the moth that hatches is the one that looks like a moth hummingbird- wild stuff! There does happen to be a natural fighting agent, a parasitic wasp that lays eggs on the living bug (eventually killing it), which adds to the the horror of the hornworm.