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Downy Lobelia Lobelia puberula

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
low-BEE-lee-a pub-ER-uh-luh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Lobelia puberula, or downy lobelia, is a perennial herbaceous wildflower in the Bellflower family native to eastern and south-central United States. It is the most common blue-flowered Lobelia in the Southeast. 

Blue Lobelia is a herbaceous perennial that may grow 3 to 4 feet tall. The leaves are alternate with small teeth that are irregularly spaced and a fuzzy underside. Blue flowers with white to pink centers first mature in late summer and continue into mid-fall.

The blooms have one white mark (vs. two on Great Blue Lobelia), and the flowers seem to be on one side.

Fire Risk: This plant has a medium flammability rating. 

Seasons of Interest: 

   Blooms:  Late summer/fall            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: 

More information on Lobelia.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#poisonous#perennial#wildlife plant#herb garden#fire#medium flammability#NC native#native garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#butterfly friendly#nectar plant late summer#nectar plant early fall#nectar plant mid-fall#pollinator garden#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#hummingbirds#showy flowers#poisonous#perennial#wildlife plant#herb garden#fire#medium flammability#NC native#native garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#butterfly friendly#nectar plant late summer#nectar plant early fall#nectar plant mid-fall#pollinator garden#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lobelia
    Species:
    puberula
    Family:
    Campanulaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and south central United States
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators.  Bees are pollinators of this plant.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is frequently damaged by deer.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The Downy lobelia features irregularly shaped, .75 in. blue flowers with a white center. The upper lip has two lobes and the lower lip has three lobes. The flower spike is often one-sided. Blooms late summer to fall, August-October.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Downy lobelia has soft, alternate leaves, each 1 to 2 inches. The leaves generally have small irregularly spaced teeth. They may be hairy, particularly on the underside.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, exhaustion and weakness, dilation of pupils, convulsions, and coma
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids lobelamine, lobeline, and others, plus a volatile oil
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems