Nicotiana mutabilis

Tim Holtsford HoltsfordT at MISSOURI.EDU
Fri Jan 8 17:11:44 CST 1999

        I was surprised to be forwarded an inquiry from TAXACOM about
Nicotiana mutabilis because it is an undescribed (I think this is still
true) species.  Joao Stehman of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in
Belo Horizonte, Brasil (a Petunia guy, primarily) will be(/is?) the author.

        N. mutabilis is a member of Section Alatae, according to its
morphology (Stehman) and its nrITS DNA seq (A. Ippolito & T Holtsford,
unpublished).  N. mutabilis is cross-compatible with other members of the
Alatae with n=9 so it's not a good biological species, but it is
morphologically, distributionally, and phylogenetically distinct from the
other Alatae spp.

        I do not think it is in cultivation anywhere except the greenhouse
in Belo Horizonte, but it could make a great cultivar because flrs of many
shades of white-to-pink are present on the plant while it's flowering.
Individual flowers are white at anthesis and turn to deep pink over 2-3 d.,
hence the proposed specific epithet.  However, Brazil has strict rules
about the exportation of its germplasm -- having been robbed of the rubber
industry and perhaps others -- so I would discourage any attempts to
collect or cultivate this spp. without a formal agreement to share any
profits with the people of Brazil.  th


Tim Holtsford                                   573-882-3016 (office)
Division of Biological Sciences                 573-882-2988 (lab)
105 Tucker Hall                                 573-882-0123 (FAX)
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO, 65211-7400, USA

HoltsfordT at

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