Wild Tobacco

Solanum mauritianum

Family: Solanaceae

Type of weed:

Flower colour(s):

Priority Weed Local Priority Weed. (See more weeds of the class.)

Flowering Months: , , , , , , , ,


Wild Tobacco is a shrub that grows up to 4 m.

Leaves are lance-shaped; yellowish green above and paler grey underneath. Leaves are densely covered in felty hairs and have a distinctive smell.

Lavender-blue flowers have yellow stamen. Flowers are in compact clusters at the ends of branches in autumn to spring.

Small round fruit turns from green to yellow as it ripens. Wild Tobacco produces 150 to 200 seeds per plant.

The hairy leaves may cause skin irritation. Wild Tobacco is an irritant to asthmatics.

Don’t confuse with…

Wild tobacco can be confused with the native plant, Star Hair (Astrotricha spp).


Seeds are spread by birds and flying foxes and in dumped garden waste.

Impact on bushland

Wild Tobacco can out-compete native plants for nutrients and light. It invades disturbed areas and creeklines.


. Mostly Lower Mountains and Cumberland Plain.

Alternative planting

Native plants

  • Christmas Bush (Ceratopetalum gummiferum)
  • Native Peach (Trema aspera)
  • Red Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrons)
  • Bleeding Heart (Omolanthus populifolius)

Council provides a tool, on its Mountain Landscapes website, to help you choose native alternative plantings. Choose your village, soil, vegetation community and the purpose of your planting, and the tool will give you suggestions.

There are native nurseries in several Blue Mountains villages, including Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba. Please also ask at your favourite local nursery.


  • Hand remove
  • Remove flowers, fruit, pods or seeds
  • Stem inject or frill
  • Cut and paint

Manual control

Hand remove

Grasp stem at ground level. Rock weed backwards and forwards to loosen roots, then pull out gently. Carefully tap the roots to dislodge attached soil. Replace disturbed soil and pat down.

  • Leave weeds so that roots do not make contact with soil; on a rock, for instance. A small amount of debris may be hung in a tree or removed from the site.
  • Vary the position of your body to avoid fatigue when removing plants by hand over extended periods.

Remove seeds, pods or fruit

Gently remove any seeds, pods or fruit and carefully place in a bag.

Chemical control

Note: Herbicides that may be used for this weed include Glyphosate.

Stem injection or frilling

Stem injection
Drilling holes at 45° and squirting poison into holes
Apply poison immediately after drilling

At the base of the tree, drill holes at a 45° angle into the sapwood (just under the outer bark) at two finger space intervals around the entire base of the tree. Repeat this process below the lowest branch


As an alternative to drilling, make cuts into the sapwood with a chisel or axe. Fill each cut/hole with herbicide immediately. Repeat the process at 3 cm intervals around the tree.


Plants should be healthy and actively growing. Deciduous plants should be treated in spring and autumn when leaves are fully formed. For multi-stemmed plants, inject or chip below the lowest branch or treat each stem individually. Herbicide must be injected immediately before the plant cells close (within 30 seconds before translocation of herbicide ceases.)

Cut and paint

Applying poison to cut stump from squeeze bottle
Apply poison immediately after cutting

Useful for small to medium sized woody weeds up to 10 cm in diameter.

Make a horizontal cut as close to the ground as possible with secateurs or loppers, and immediately apply concentrated Glyphosate to the exposed stump surface. Do not allow the surface to get covered with soil.

Specific control tips for this weed

  • Seeds are spread by birds, so treat plants before they fruit. Remove any fruit and seeds and dispose of them.
  • Hand pull seedlings.
  • Cut and paint, or stem inject larger shrubs. Cut plant material can be spread out and left to dry off the ground.

For key points on these techniques:

Local Priority Weed

Control measures:

  • The plant should be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.
  • Plants under 4 metres in height should be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.
  • The spread of this plant should be adequately contained to prevent spread impacting on priority assets. Weed notices will only be issued for these weeds under special circumstances.