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The genus Lobelia was named after the famous botanist of Belgium, Matthias de Lobel. Lobelia comprises of numerous species of flowering plants which are commonly distributed throughout the world.

The number of the species included in the genus varies from 370-400 and thus it has been a difficult task for botanist to configure a particular group for the genus. The debate prolons till date, whether the species belongs to a separate family called Lobeliaceae or it comes under Campanulaceae as a sub family. Till now a firm decision is awaited regarding the characteristics of this genus.


Flower Description
Lobelia is a precious plants that blooms profusely when inculcated in good and withstandable conditions. Found in different varieties , Lobelia has various appearances which mark them distinctively amongst other flowers. Also found as trailing Lobelia, the plant abundantly grows as a vine and needs support to reach greater heights. The colors of the flower vary in different varieties however the prominent colors are blue and dark blue and violet colors.


Varieties of Lobelia
Lobelia is widespread in the whole wide world in different colors and hues. Few of the most prominent varieties found are:

  • Lobelia aberdarica
  • Lobelia Inflata (Indian Tobacco)
  • Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
  • LobeliaCambridge Blue
  • Lobelia Crystal Palace
  • Lobelia String Of Pearls
  • Lobelia (Trailing) Blue Cascade
  • Lobelia (Trailing) Colour Cascade Mixed
  • Lobelia (Trailing) Sapphire
  • Lobelia (Trailing) Red Cascade
  • Lobelia White Lady
  • LobeliaTrailing Sapphire
  • Lobelia erinus
  • Lobelia chinensis
  • Lobelia monostachya
  • Lobelia deckenii
  • Lobelia dortmanna
  • Lobelia thapsoidea
  • Lobelia tupa
  • Lobelia siphilitica, etc.

Uses of Lobelia
Lobelia bears attractive and adorable flowers and this makes it a popular garden plant.

Various species are used for their ornamental qualities in adornments and other decorative purposes. Blue Moon, Cascade, Gracilis and Rosamund are a few of the numerous species which are simply adored by one and all.

Lobelia cardinalis, Lobelia siphilitica, Lobelia fulgens, Lobelia erinus and many hybrids have fetched accolades in the floriculture for their beautiful appearances.


The attractive and bright colored flowers are best grown in beds, large pots, window boxes and in hanging baskets to adorn and decorate. Strong color contrasts especially using primary colors of red, yellow and blue make a perfect artifact for the gardens.

The deep blue flowers of the trailing Lobelia are an excellent decorator if cultivated in window boxes. These beautifully attractive flowers are also used in edging, containers, massed as ground cover, rock gardens and hanging baskets.


Medicinal Usage

  • Lobelia was used as an effective treatment of respiratory and muscle disorders and more often as a purgative.
  • Even today, the flowers are used as a cure of asthma and food poisoning.
  • It shows up as an enlightened treatment culture of methamphetamine dependency which is otherwise an incurable disease.
  • Lobelia siphilitica and Lobelia cardinalis are considered as an appropriate cure of syphilis.
  • L. chinensis finds an esteemed place amongst fifty fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.

Cultivational Techniques

  • A prized possession of a gardener, Lobelia grows and blooms exceptionally well in rich and moist soils.
  • Although the Lobelia plants grow the best in full sun however its advisable to grow them away from extra sun exposure especially in moisture retentive soils. Partial shade does wonders for the plant.
  • The little seeds should planted indoors in the earlier weeks and should be later transplanted. Watering should be done with warm water to aid germination.
  • The flowering begins after the plant grows more than two months old.
  • To promote further growth, the flower spikes should be removed from time to time. This helps new blooms to appear fast.

Interesting Facts

  • Lobelia inflata is one of the varieties of Lobelia which is known as Indian tobacco. It finds great usage in medicinal field as a cure of asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and cough.
  • American physicians also used it to excite vomiting and thus cure indigestion and for removal of toxins from the body.

Over dosage of Lobelia inflata might cause side effects like nausea and vomiting and its use should not be prescribed to pregnant women and children. Individuals suffering from cardiac disease can also be harmed by the consumption of Lobelia.

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