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Lobelia infata - Plant

Note: The image is for reference purpose only.
Lobelia inflata is an annual or biennial herbaceous plant.
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Description for Lobelia infata

Lobelia inflata is a species of Lobelia native to eastern North America, from southeastern Canada south through the eastern United States to Alabama and west to Kansas.

It is unbranched, or branches occasionally in the upper half. The angular stems have bristly white hairs; these hairs are less abundant on the upper stems. The alternate leaves are becoming smaller as they lowering Spike ascend the stems.

They are lanceolate to ovate in shape and crenate or bluntly dentate along the margins. The central stem terminates in a spike-like raceme of flowers that extends to about one-half the length of the plant.

Common nameFlower coloursBloom timeHeightDifficulty
Indian tobacco, puke weedLight blue-violet, light purple, or whiteSummer to Fall 18 to 24 inches Easy to grow

Planting and care

Annual lobelia will grow nearly anywhere. Lobelia seeds can be sown directly in the garden or indoors for later transplanting. These plants typically require an area with full sun but will tolerate partial shade. They also prefer moist, rich soil. Start indoors about 10 to 12 weeks prior to the last frost in your region. Spread the tiny seeds just on top of the soil and water thoroughly. Place them in a warm, well-lit area.

SunlightSoilWaterTemperatureFertilizer
Full Sun to Partial ShadeLoam, clay loam, or rocky Medium20 degrees CApply any organic fertilizer

Caring for Lobelia infata

  • Once established, the Lobelia plant requires little maintenance.
  • During hot, dry periods, care of lobelia requires that the plant should receive frequent watering, however, especially those in containers.
  • A general-purpose liquid fertilizer can be given once a month or every four to six weeks if desired.

Typical uses of Lobelia infata

Special features: NA

Culinary use: NA

Ornamental use: The plant is used for an ornamental purpose.

Medicinal use: Lobelia inflata is an herb that is used to treat asthma, allergies, whooping cough, congestion, and bronchitis. In the past, it was also useful for tobacco withdrawal as an herbal remedy to quit smoking. Lobelia inflata has a long use as a medicinal plant, as an entheogenic, emetic, and a dermatological and respiratory aid.

Note: Please consult your health expert.

References

  • http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/lobelia/lobelia.htm
  • http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-353345
  • University of Michigan at Dearborn: Native American Ethnobotany of Lobelia inflata

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