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Blue Lobelia, is a perennial that blooms in late summer and produces spikes of blue flowers . The flowers are similar to those of Cardinal Flower except for the color. The flowers are 2-lipped with the three lobes of the lower lip appearing more prominent than the two lobes of the upper lip.Another name for this plant is the Blue Cardinal Flower. The leaves are also similar to Cardinal Flower, being finely toothed and lance shaped.
The plant prefers moist soil. Some specimens were found growing in roadside ditches on Green Mountain. They are also found in the Huntsville Botanical Garden. The plant grows throughout eastern U.S. and as far west as Kansas. Blue Lobelia can be grown from seed or by dividing. It natually re-seeds in the wild. The plant was formerly used as a home remedy. It contains an alkaloid that can be poisonous in large doses. The plant is so similar to Cardinal Flower that it probably also be visited by hummingbirds.
The first two photos of plants growing on Green Mountain are likely the puberula species while the larger flowered plants in the Botanical Garden (Img 4) are siphilitica. Thanks to Chuck McCartney, an orchid and native wildflower enthusiast, for the update.
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