Wild tobacco plant

Wild tobacco plant

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Caption: Wild tobacco plant in flower in Ecuadorian cloud forest. Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is a shrubby annual or perennial, native to tropical America. The plant produces the toxic alkaloid nicotine, which protects it from damage by insects and grazing animals. Small doses of nicotine produce a pleasurable stimulation of the human autonomic nervous system but habitual use leads to addiction and increases the risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke and lung disease. The plant's properties are thought to have been known to the Mayans, who may have been the first to smoke tobacco. Photographed at Los Cedros Reserve.

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Keywords: botany, ecuador, los cedros reserve, nature, nicotiana tabacum, nicotine, plant, plants, poisonous, tobacco, tobacco plant, wild, wild tobacco plant

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