Coyote tobacco as seen at Fort Rock State Park, Fort Rock, OR....late June, 1995.
Coyote tobacco is an annual to biennial wildflower with erect, simple to branched stems arising from 50-100 cm high. The numerous basal leaves are long-petioled with lanceolate to ovate blades from 6-10 cm long and 1.5-3 cm wide. The leaves of the stem are reduced in size upwards on the stem, becoming narrower or linear with subsessile bases. The stems and leaves are often covered with fine, short, glandular hairs.
The inflorescence is a loose panicle with conspicuous, linear bracts. The calyx is narrowly bell-shaped and ranges from 7-9 mm long. The calyx lobes are unequal in length and are lanceolate to triangular in outline. The trumpet-shaped corolla is white, or the tube may be greenish with the white, flaring limb up to 1.4 cm wide when expanded. Individual flower range from 2.5-4.5 cm long. The stamens are included within the corolla tube with slender filaments and small anthers 1-2 mm long and about as wide.
Coyote tobacco may be found in dry, disturbed soils and amongst sagebrush or creosote bush (in the southern extent of its range) in the lowlands to wooded mountain slopes. Within its range, it may be found between the elevations of 1000-9000 ft. The higher range of elevation is from plants again found at the southern portion of its range.
Coyote tobacco may be found east of the Cascade Mts. from British Columbia south to Mexico and east through the Pacific Northwest to Idaho and south through Nevada to Arizona and New Mexico.