Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Lobelia siphilitica L.
Great blue lobelia
Campanulaceae (Bellflower Family)
This showy perennial
is usually unbranched but may exhibit some branching. The erect, 2-3 ft., stems produce lavender-blue, tubular flowers crowded together on the upper stem. Showy, bright blue flowers are in the axils of leafy bracts and form an elongated cluster on a leafy stem. Each flower is split into two lips – the upper lip has two segments and the lower lip has three.
This blue counterpart of the Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis
) is a most desirable plant for woodland gardens especially since it blooms bright blue in late summer. The unfortunate species name, siphilitica
, is based on the fact that it was a supposed cure for syphilis.
Image Gallery: 29 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
AL , AR , CO , CT , DE , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NE , NH , NJ , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VT , VA , WV , WI , WY , DC Canada: NB
, ON Native Distribution:
CT to extreme s.e. ND & Goshen Co., WY, s. to GA uplands, TX & CO Native Habitat:
Open, wet woods; stream banks; marshes; meadows USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist
Drought Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand
Conditions Comments: Not at all drought tolerant, keep soil moist, watering if necessary in average soil conditions.
BenefitWarning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts. Toxic only if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, exhaustion and weakness, dilation of pupils, convulsions, and coma. Toxic Principle: Alkaloids lobelamine, lobeline, and others, plus a volatile oil. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Hummingbirds