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Lobelia siphilitica - L.

Common Name Great Blue Lobelia, Blue Cardinal Flower, Big Blue Lobelia, Great Lobelia
Family Campanulaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards The plant is potentially poisonous[222]. It contains the alkaloid lobeline which has a similar effect upon the nervous system as nicotine[274].
Habitats Moist woods and marshes[187].
Range Eastern N. America - Maine to S. Dakota, south to Texas and Missouri.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Lobelia siphilitica Great Blue Lobelia, Blue Cardinal Flower, Big Blue Lobelia,  Great Lobelia


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Nova
Lobelia siphilitica Great Blue Lobelia, Blue Cardinal Flower, Big Blue Lobelia,  Great Lobelia
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Nova

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Blue. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid fall. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Lobelia siphilitica is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.3 m (1ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 5. It is in flower from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Plant Habitats

 Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Analgesic  Cathartic  Diaphoretic  Dysentery  Emetic  Homeopathy  Poultice  VD


The root is cathartic, diaphoretic and emetic[4, 46, 103]. It is used in the treatment of dropsy, diarrhoea, stomach complaints, syphilis and dysentery[4, 257]. A poultice of the root has been applied to sores that are hard to heal[257]. The leaves are analgesic and febrifuge[257]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of colds and fevers[257]. A poultice of the crushed leaves has been applied to the head to relieve the pain of headaches[257]. At one time in N. America the root of this plant was believed to be effective in the treatment of VD[103, 222]. When used in Europe, however, it was found to be ineffective[213]. This might have been because the N. American Indians used the fresh root (which still contained the volatile oils) and also used it in conjunction with Podophyllum peltatum and Prunus virginiana, and then dusted the ulcers with the bark of Ceanothus americanus[213]. It was believed by some native North American Indian tribes that if the finely ground roots were secretly added to the food of an arguing couple then this would avert a divorce and they would love each other again[213]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the roots[4].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Massing, Woodland garden. Requires a moist soil, succeeding in full sun or partial shade[111, 187, 200]. A very ornamental plant[1], but it is short-lived unless divided frequently[233]. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring[200]. Basal cuttings in spring[1]. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Layering in moist sand, it forms roots at the nodes[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Lobelia cardinalisCardinal FlowerPerennial1.0 3-9 MLMHSNMWeWa03 
Lobelia dortmannaWater Lobelia, Dortmann's cardinalflowerPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHSNMWe02 
Lobelia inflataIndian TobaccoAnnual0.6 -  LMHSNM031
Lobelia radicans Perennial0.2 -  LMHSNMWe03 
Lobelia sessilifolia Perennial0.7 4-8  LMHSNMWe10 
Lobelia spicataPale Spike, Palespike lobeliaPerennial1.0 4-8  LMHSNMWe01 
Lobelia tupaDevil's TobaccoPerennial2.0 7-10  LMHSNM01 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

43200

Links / References

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