Native Plant of the Week: Great Blue Lobelia

Common Name: Great Blue Lobelia

Scientific Name: Lobelia siphilitica

 

General Description: Great blue lobelia is a close relative of cardinal flower and has many similar characteristics.  It is a clump-forming perennial that reaches 2-3 feet in height and has long, terminal flower spikes.  The stunning blue flowers appear in the latter half of summer to provide both color and nectar when many other flowers are spent.

Habitat: Great blue lobelia is commonly found in moist open woods, marshes, and along streams.  It is not fussy about sun; but it requires moist conditions and prefers rich soils.

Additional information: Great blue lobelia attracts a variety of insect pollinators as well as hummingbirds.  As with cardinal flower, it is best to plant great blue lobelia in part to full shade to minimize supplemental watering. This plant will spread slowly from the mother plant and can also provide “volunteer” seedlings; but it is not an aggressively spreading plant.  Great blue lobelia has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes – one of which led to its unsettling species name.

You are welcome to visit the Native Plant of the Week 

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.  

The featured plant is in the front yard and will be marked.

 

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