Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Lobelia spicata Lam.
Campanulaceae (Bellflower Family)
USDA Symbol: LOSP
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
A single, slender stem rises 1-3 ft. from Pale-spike Lobelia’s small rosette of basal foliage. The stem bears a delicate spike of pale-blue, two-lipped flowers. Small, bilaterally symmetrical, lavender to purplish-blue to bluish-white flowers in an elongated, slender, spike-like cluster; stem leafy, often reddish and hairy at base, smooth above. Pale-spike Lobelia is a perennial.
This is a highly variable species with several varieties recognized by botanists.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , ON , SK
Native Distribution: S.e. Canada to Sask. & n.e. MT, s. to GA, AL, MS, LA & e. TX
Native Habitat: Prairies; open woodlands
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil Description: Moist to dry soils.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Hummingbirds
Warning: The leaves, seeds, and roots of some plants of the Lobelia genus contain poisonous substances and have caused fatalities in humans and animals when ingested. All plants in the genus may contain toxins and should not be ingested. 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
PropagationDescription: Scratch seeds lightly onto the soil surface. Use fresh or stratified seed.
Seed Treatment: Moist stratify for 2 months at 40 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Lobelia spicata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lobelia spicata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lobelia spicata
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-17
Research By: TWC Staff