- Common Name(s):
- Blue cardinal flower, Great blue lobelia, Great lobelia
- Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Poisonous Plants, Wildflowers
Lobelia siphilitica, commonly called great lobelia or blue cardinal flower, is a native perennial that typically grows in moist to wet locations along streams, sloughs, springs, swamps, meadows and in low wooded areas.
This plant provides late summer bloom to the perennial border, wild garden, native plant garden, woodland garden or naturalized planting. Also effective near ponds or streams.
Seasons of Interest:
Blooms: Late summer, fall Nut/Fruit/Seed: Fall
Wildlife Value: This plant has low resistance to damage from deer. Its flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.
Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Snails and slugs may damage the foliage.
- Erect, annual or perennial herbs; leaves alternate, simple; flowers white, scarlet, or blue, 5-parted, tubular and irregular-shaped with 2 lips; fruit a capsule.
- Late summer into fall
- 1-3 ft.
- USDA Hardiness Zone 4-9
- Great lobelia has finely-toothed, lance-shaped, light green leaves (to 5" long). The alternate, stalkless leaves are 2 to 6 inches long.
- Great lobelia is a clump-forming perennial which features an elongated cluster of light to dark blue, tubular, 2-lipped flowers with the three lobes of the lower lip appearing more prominent than the two lobes of the upper lip. The flowers arise from the upper leaf axils forming a dense terminal raceme atop stiff, unbranched, leafy stalks typically rising 2-3' tall. Its flowers are larger than other lobelias and have stripes on the tube portion.
- Herbaceous perennial
- Great lobelia is easily grown in rich, humusy, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. It needs constant moisture. Will tolerate full sun in cool, northern climates, but otherwise appreciates part shade. Divide clumps in spring as needed. May self-seed in optimum growing conditions, forming attractive colonies.
- Part shade to full shade
- Poison Part:
- All parts
- Poison Delivery Mode:
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, exhaustion and weakness, dilation of pupils, convulsions, and coma
- Toxic Principle:
- Alkaloids lobelamine, lobeline, and others, plus a volatile oil
- TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN
- Found in:
- Forest or natural area, in moist woods and fields, edge of streams; landscape, in flower gardens, cultivated herbaceous annuals and perennials
- Life Cycle:
NCCES plant id: 2647