Lobelia siphilitica - Great Lobelia
"Great Blue Lobelia is a herbaceous perennial that may grow 3 to 4 feet tall. The leaves are alternate with a toothed margin. Blue flowers first mature in mid-summer and continue into early fall. The flowers are larger than other Lobelias and have stripes on the tube portion.
"This plant provides late summer bloom to the perennial border, wild garden, native plant garden, woodland garden, or naturalized planting. It is also effective near ponds or streams." (North Carolina Extension)
Lobelia Siphilitica Botany by Dr. John Hilty
Bellflower family (Campanulaceae)
"The preference is wet to moist soil and partial sun. Full sun is tolerated if the soil is consistently moist, and light shade is also acceptable. The soil should be fertile and loamy. This plant withstands occasional flooding, but it will become muddy and ragged-looking if it receives too much abuse. The small seeds require light to germinate. Great Blue Lobelia can be highly variable in height, depending on environmental conditions and its stage of development." (Hilty)
"The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract primarily bumblebees and other long-tongued bees (Anthophora spp., Melissodes spp., Svastra spp.). Less common visitors include the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, large butterflies, and Halictid bees. The Halictid bees collect pollen only and they are non-pollinating. The caterpillars of a moth, Enigmogramma basigera (Pink-washed Looper Moth), feed on the foliage of Great Blue Lobelia (Schweitzer & Roberts, 2007). Most mammalian herbivores don't eat this plant because the foliage contains several toxic alkaloids, chief among them being lobeline and lobelanine. These toxic substances produce symptoms that resemble nicotine poisoning. However, it has been reported that deer occasionally eat this plant, perhaps enjoying greater immunity to these toxic substances than other animals. The seeds are too small to be of much value to birds." (Hilty)
- "Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)" is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
- "Lobelia siphilitica, flower. C & O Canal Park, Montgomery co., MD. (8/15/12)" is licensed under CC PDM 1.0
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