Yep, they are pretty to look at. I have them planted at the distillery, people always say, what is that? They can be dangerous, but lots of things can be. One note is, you have to be careful working on them, you can get quite a buzz from touching them too much.
There are a lot of ornamental varieties too. Sold as Nicotinana (the genus name) or something like that. They do well in pots or in in mixed beds. Always wanted to grow some myself, but never had the right place for it.
absentem laedit cum ebrio qui litigat.
Definitely dangerous. People get crazy sick from working in the fields. Tobacco poisoning is a bitch.
I never bothered with this for two reasons, first, you can't be an organic gardener and grow tobacco. If you get tobacco beetles, they are a tough thing to get rid of. And second (and most importantly for me), there is a reason that the best tobacco is grown in regions like Cuba, Nicaragua, etc. That is where the climate, soil and so on is the best to grow the leaf. Yes VA, the Carolinas, etc grow tobacco, but that is the stuff that gets blended for cigarettes and cheap chopped leaf cigars. So, I just leave the growing to those that are in the right area for it.
i have grown some tobacco the last few years (habana 2000 and criollo strains) and roll them up too. its kind of fun, and this year i had 10 plants. the leaves are sitting in a large cooler resting now, but i rolled some up already.
had one plant that reached 9 foot tall.