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Lobelia siphilitica

Lobelia siphilitica L.

 

Great Blue Lobelia

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderAsteralesFlowering plants with a central disk flower and surrounding petals, like daisies
FamilyCampanulaceaeCampanula or bellflower family; means “bell-shaped flowers”
GenusLobeliaNamed for Flemish botanist Matthias de l’Obel, also known as Lobelius
SpeciessiphiliticaFrom the discredited belief that it can cure syphilis

About plant names...

Great blue lobelia prefers wet woods and clearings. It is native to central and eastern Canada and the United States. Cultivars are popular with gardeners.

Plants: Usually unbranched, 20-60" (50-152 cm) in height.

Leaves: Leaves are oval to oblong, and 3-4½" (7.6-12 cm) long, shorter near the top.

Flowers: Tubular blue or white flowers grow from leaf axils up the stem, and in a large spike at the top. Each flower is ½-1½" (1.3-3.8 cm) in size, and consists of an upper lip with two segments, and a lower lip with three. Flowers appear from Aug-Sep.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones. Although not intensely poisonous, lobelia contains lobeline, which is similar in nicotine in its effects on the nervous system.

Online References:

Lobelia siphilitica on www.uaex.edu

Lobelia siphilitica at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lobelia siphilitica on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Lobelia siphilitica on Wikipedia

References:

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 28

Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 15 cm)

Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm) ID is uncertain

Lobelia siphilitica description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 21 Jun 2017.

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Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm) ID is uncertain

Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 6 × 7" (15 × 17 cm)

Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)

10/11/2012 · By Jacquelyn Boyt

Range: Zones 4-9:

About this map...