Definition of Indian tobacco in US English:

Indian tobacco


  • Any of several North American plants used in a similar way to tobacco; especially Lobelia inflata (family Campanulaceae), an erect, usually branched herb bearing racemes of bluish-violet or white flowers, containing the alkaloid lobeline, which has a similar effect to nicotine (also called pukeweed).


Early 17th century; earliest use found in Joshua Sylvester (d. 1618), poet and translator.